Valentine’s Day for Boys ONLY

What can we learn from the innocence of children about the true nature of Valentine’s Day?

Six year old Jett was writing out his Valentine’s Day cards this morning.

“One for Paul, Justin, Kwon, Ashton, Michael, Derek…”

“What about Lauren, Zandra, or Sophia? Don’t you want to give cards to some girls?” I prodded.

“No girls,” Jett said without even looking up.

At first I was a bit disappointed that Jett didn’t have a special girl to give a card to. One of the other parents told me that his first grader had made matching Rainbow Loom bracelets for he and his sweetheart. rainbowloomThen I caught myself in my socially conditioned heterosexuality.

When I was able to see the beauty of the present moment, I felt a touch of jealousy. My son had the freedom to express his love to all the boys that he knew. He had a shared bond with these boys that was not tainted by homophobia or puffed up versions of manliness.

I thought about Rarasaur’s post on an alternate form of Valentine’s Day and fantasized about a day where men could show love for each other without shame, aversion, or homophobia. Where we could hug each other tenderly, heart to heart rather than be forced to chest-bump or bro-hug. Where we could look into each others eyes and tell each other how much we appreciated everything that we have done for each other.

I thought about Macklemore’s song “Same Love”:

“When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was gay, because I could draw and my uncle was and I kept my room straight.”

Maybe the reason, Macklemore thought he was gay in the third grade was because he had genuine feelings for some of the boys that he called friends. I hope my son can keep his heart open to anyone who he has strong feelings for regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or culture.

I’m starting to experience what I’ve always heard, “Love is all you need.” Isn’t it a shame that we are socialized to stop loving half the population in the third grade?

Thanks for reading, smiling, and/or sharing.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my brothers and sisters.

Love and Oppression

“Truth is on the side of the oppresed.”–Malcom X

I am an oppressor. I did not choose this position; it was given to me at birth. Ignorant of my privilege, I have abused this undeserved power throughout my life. Not until one of the oppressed loved and forgave me was I able to see the massive power structure that I inherited with my Y chromosome.

On this Valentine’s Day while a billion people are dancing to end violence against women, I want to call out to all other male oppressors to lay down their weapons and commence dismantling this Patriarchy the empowers us. The dismantling will not be easy because the system is entrenched in everything we know. Continue reading