GSA Network Blog

An activist love note: Will you be your Valentine?

I've got one message this Valentine's Day: the only way we can be able to live loving, comfortable, and healthy lives, is if we learn to love ourselves first. 
To do this, we need to come together not only as LGBTQIA+ youth of color and allies, but as people who have embraced all aspects of their identity whether that means race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, immigration status, or abilities. We need to fight for our health and the health of our siblings and promote unity, with actions like the upcoming GSA Day for Racial Justice, which will bring together our GSA Network/Queerdom family to take back the streets.
In my home of Southern California, I'm organizing a Valentine's Day Mental Health Forum to celebrate self-love and have a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth of color to gather and educate ourselves on the circumstances we and our families might be living with.
But no matter where you are, you can celebrate this Valentine's Day by promoting self-love to yourself and others. Topics like depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. are often seen as "taboo" or controversial, and when youth see their guardian(s) or other adult figures treating these issues like a secret to be hidden in the dark, it sends the message that seeking help, or creating a dialogue is bad or wrong. You can get started today in exploring these issues by using these resources on LGBTQ youth mental health created by with GSA Network.  
I know we all love our dose of self-deprecating humor (myself included), but sometimes our actions are lost in translation, meaning that while we may be doing something in the name of good fun, it can be interpreted as "low self-esteem is how we are all supposed to live." Today, I'm asking you acknowledge what you see as "flaws" and take steps towards embracing them as part of who you are. Celebrate Valentine's Day by showing others how much you love yourself. 

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