Valentine’s Day should make everyone feel loved


By Aashita Singh, Staff Reporter

Imagine scrolling through social media, watching videos on your TikTok page or Instagram feed as Valentine’s Day comes closer. While you watch, you suddenly realize that all the couples that are depicted in these videos are not like you and your partner at all. In fact, some of the videos alienate you both.

That scenario is what many LGBTQ couples have to endure during Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday focused on the appreciation of love. Whether it be for relationships or friendships, it is spread around in the form of candy hearts or long love letters. However, some couples, mainly LGBTQ couples, may see the day as a time where they are reminded that homophobia still exists. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the stigma around LGBTQ individuals and their time for romance, needs to be shed a light on, and discussed.

The harassment of LGBTQ couples could stem from the stigma and shock of LGBTQ couples and individuals. GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) says that LGBTQ couples are usually less publicized than straight couples in the media when it comes to holidays such as Valentine’s Day. One of the main reasons why LGBTQ couples are harassed is because, even though the number of LGBTQ individuals are rising and have been existing since ancient times, they are not represented enough in the media.

Popular social media apps have been known to censor or spread anti-LGBTQ content on their app. In 2020, TikTok admitted to censoring LGBTQ hashtags such as “#transgender” or “#gay” in largely homophobic countries. Once the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) reported on the censorship, TikTok publicly apologized. After the apology though, in a 2021 report from Media Matters, TikTok was still consistently showing homophobic content on users’ “For You” pages, such as celebration for homophobic speech and violence, as soon as they created an account. 

Although it is easy to fall into a negative hole where you believe nothing can be done, there have been projects and ways organizations have been contributing to help support LGBTQ+ individuals to be seen more in the media.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), it is important for the media to increase the amount of LGBTQ representation. WEF has been working to construct plans to help spread the acceptance of LGBTQ couples. Their latest annual meeting discussed getting LGBTQ individuals more representation in social media so they can spread awareness about certain LGBTQ terms and figures. 


GLAAD has also helped by creating more studies to find the stem of homophobia. One of their studies found that individuals who watch LGBTQ couples in media such as in advertisements, become more accepting of them. GLAAD has created projects with WEF to promote more ads that represent LGBTQ couples just as much as straight couples.

It could be said that there has been work to help prevent the lack of representation for LGBTQ couples, especially during romantic holidays because of organizations such as GLAAD and WEF. However, the amount of representation is still not enough if there is still homophobia and shock towards the LGBTQ couples. If social media apps such as TikTok are still spreading anti-LGBTQ content consistently, the representation still needs to increase.

With Valentine’s Day being just around the corner, it is important to think inclusively, in a way where everyone can feel happy. You could always help joining organizations that spread LGBTQ Valentine’s day content such as GLAAD. You could even help by just posting all types of couples, including LGBTQ couples, when addressing Valentine’s day.

Being able to support LGBTQ couples and members who are LGBTQ during the event, can only help make the day feel even more heartwarming. At the end of the day, Valentine’s Day is a day for everyone to feel loved and equal.  

Aashita Singh can be reached at [email protected]