Toronto
3 min

You’re the best thing about you

Happy Valentine’s month, my friends. The month dedicated to love. Why should Valentine’s Day just be a day? Why not have the wonderful feeling all month long? Sure, some say Valentine’s Day is a pressure vacuum designed to make the not-in-love feel bad about themselves and the in-love feel they may not be doing enough unless the whole big gay nine yards are rolled out. Somewhere in between the two, a tiny teddy bear-maker in China dances the fandango.

Actually here’s a little trivia you may not know. Valentine’s Day is actually a recent thing, invented in 1968 by Pam Valentine, a lesbian with a hankering for an overpriced prix fixe and a single red rose purchased off a Moonie coming around to tables.

Hey, whatever happened to the Moonies? Remember them? That cult of glassy-eyed followers? Where’d they go? Oh, wait. I know. They became Madonna fans. What?! No! Who said that? Rude.

(As usual, I don’t mean to offend, but if I have, please contact me and let me know. Send your cards and letters to I Love Gay People c/o Miss Elizabeth Hasselbeck, The View, ABC Television, 3230 Avenue Of The Americas, New York, NY.)

Ah, yes. February! I’ll tell you one thing about it that rocks. One more month and this whole winter nonsense is all but over. I know what you’re saying. “Jane, if you don’t like winter, why don’t you just move to South Beach and parade up and down the boardwalk in a thong and high heels?” But enough about my year in St Tropez. Alas that’s for another time.

I wish I liked winter. I swear, have tried. It’s like this: Have you ever gone out on a date with someone, and been like, “I wish I could like you, but your eyes are a bit poppy-outy.” Or “You have a wonderful smile, but when you laugh it sounds like a horse choking on a cough drop.” You know what I mean? It’s just not totally going to work. (And by the way, I saw Poppy-outy Eyes recently and she’s thriving. Even had a baby. With a gay guy with oversized eyebrows. How adorable that baby was! Looks a bit like Animal from The Muppet Show. But who doesn’t love him?)

Anyway, the thrill of February, too, is that it is mercifully short. Then spring practically starts. March I don’t count — what with the whole coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb thing. By the way, why is March the only month that comes in like a something and goes out like a something else? I would like to see more of those. “October! It comes in like Dakota Fanning and goes out like Janice Dickinson.”

February itself comes in like… a crabby little arctic owl and goes out like… well, the same crabby little arctic owl but now it’s put on 10 pounds. So wrong. That straining against your waistband good time feeling of February. As if being cold wasn’t enough. Cold and fat. Boo. Oh, who needs that?

That’s where the brilliance of Valentine’s Day comes in. It is thrilling to have an event to look forward to. Even if it’s with dread, it’s still looking forward. The big Valentine’s Day night on Church St. It’s like Pride with more couples fighting on the way home and without the supersoakers.

There we can sit, surrounded by other gussied-up homos on a fabulous night out, perched on our bar stool or restaurant chair, with our winter fat asses spilling over just a touch, but we can look around and be among the tribe and have some laughs. Or you can stay in and watch TV and be a part of an even bigger tribe. But if it’s about love, I say let’s really make it about love. Not the tiny teddy bear sort, the true and everywhere sort.

If there’s one thing we could use as the wonderful homos of the world it’s a bit of that. Times may have changed, and we may have our L-Word and our Brokeback Mountain and our Imagine Me And You (Thank you, baby Jesus, for that one). But we still have to overcome a lot just to be who we are. Whether it’s family rejection (that old chestnut) or society’s subtle estrangement, we either fight it at face value or let it sink in and have to fight it as self-hatred. Either way, it’s not an easy fight.

So this Valentine’s Day, I say hats off to all the homos in our town. Let’s start a new tradition. Remind yourself that you are the best things about you. And that, my friends, is love.