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Equal Valentine, there's no harm in loving!

Lusiana (@UglyLusiana)

It’s that time of the year again. Red heart balloons, cheesy cards and tons of red roses everywhere. Valentine’s Day is coming!
I am one of those people who will tell you that there is no need for a day to show love, you love someone everyday, some days more, some days a little less but it has nothing to do with an organized day. However, I have learnt that an organized date can be a good moment to think and spread awareness so I want to take this opportunity to talk about love. Pure, free and equal love.
Since I was in my high school years and my best friend didn’t talk freely of the girl she was going to meet on Valentine’s Day, I have wondered why I could walk hand in hand with a boy without even a side-glance from people while she always avoided public places because she would become the favorite talking subject of the evening. Now, a good ten years later, what scares me is that mostly nothing has changed.
If a gay couple walks into a bar here in Italy, eighty per cent of the people will stop what they are doing to look at them, like they were rare animal species at the zoo. If I walk in a bar with my boyfriend, I will simply receive a ‘good morning!’. Why?
Surely, the situation in Italy is not as violent and dramatic as in other countries, let’s remember that there are still 78 countries with specific anti-gay laws in the world, but this doesn’t change the fact that our society is really behind when it comes to acceptance. I speak for my friends whom I see pressured to avoid the subject, whom I seldom see in simple public displays of affection, like holding hands or a chaste kiss. As a person who has found a soul mate in a person of the other sex, I strongly believe this is unfair. My friends deserve to enjoy what I can live daily and, with them, many LGBT couples around the world.
The basic problem is understanding what can be really harmful for a society to be exposed to and what not. Speaking from experience, a problematic society like the Italian one, with criminal organizations ruling in some areas and a dramatic increase in general criminal activity, should be concerned about battling hate more than love. Two people who love each other can’t really be that bad of a thing to expose your children to, above all, not when daily news only speak about homicides, domestic violence and corruption cases.
Therefore, this Valentine’s Day, when you are having a super elegant once-a-year dinner in a restaurant, mind your own business when two women sit at the other table. When you’re reading the newspaper at the bar and two men walk hand in hand, don’t scowl but smile to them, take it like a due break from the ugliness you’re finding in the news. When your children ask you why two people are sharing a kiss, whoever they are, the only right answer to give is “Because they love each other.” 

As always, we are really interested in what you all have to say about the subject so don’t hesitate, hit the comment. How is the situation in your country? Do LGBT couple feel pressured to hide their relationships? Do you live in a country with specific anti-gay laws?


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