A Queer Complaint Against Valentine’s Day

ec08db75f9ef95c1180ca428f5ecf0e1 By Naomi Kolb

It’s been hard to miss the fact that Valentine’s Day is this week with the bake sales, posters, and sex-themed events that have been seemingly taking over our campus lately. I’ve been actively trying not to be bitter about Valentine’s Day because this is the first year in awhile that Cupid forgot to fire the magical arrow that would land me a cutie to spend it with. Rather than being bitter about “not having anyone” to spend this holiday with though, I’m making genuine efforts to appreciate the love that I already have in my life. Just because I don’t have a romantic partner this year doesn’t mean that I don’t have anyone at all.

One of the legitimate complaints that I’d like to lodge against Valentine’s Day is the fact that it totally overemphasizes romantic and sexual love as the be-all-end-all, and specifically straight romantic and sexual love. None of that represents what my or my friend’s lives look like in college. For the most part, we’re a bunch of queers stumbling through loving each other in the best ways that we know how. The love that I have in my life right now might not consist of Netflix and Chill or romantic dinner dates, and I’m OK with that. The love that I’ve got in my life right now is singing at the top of my lungs while making dinner, calling my friend two time zones away to read her a passage from a book that I love, listening to previously unspoken poetry over Saturday morning brunch, and is certainly more than enough to fill my heart with even if I don’t have a romantic partner this Valentine’s Day.

I’m not ready to write off Valentine’s Day altogether – I’m not saying screw romantic love, screw relationships, or screw straight people. However, I am definitely saying screw the idea that you need a romantic partner to be happy and fulfilled. I’ve never been happier than I am right now, and I’m doing it without a traditional romantic partner by my side. This Valentine’s Day, I’m going to be busy loving myself and loving my friends more than ever before. Maybe Cupid didn’t miss me this year after all – maybe he just aimed his arrows towards unexpected places that still landed exactly where I needed them to be.

Long Distance Friends

by Emma Eberhart

When I chose to go out of state for college, I realized I would be pretty far from home – specifically 1,355.6 miles away. I was excited for the adventure of a new city, for finding my niche, and most of all for it not being in 115 degrees Fahrenheit on any given summer day. However, one aspect that I did not fully think through was just how far I would be from my best friend.13327342_10204472701376747_137003542457597024_n Vivian and I went to the same high school in Gilbert, Arizona, and our similar interests and love for Mac Demarco and Ezra Koenig brought us together. The rest is essentially history. Vivian stayed in Arizona after graduating while I moved to the great Pacific Northwest.

My first year away consisted of a lot of facetime calls complaining about my rain-soaked sneakers, texts about current happenings in our lives, and lengthy phone calls discussing details, no matter how small, of our everyday lives. The facetimes, texts, and phone calls made possible by modern technology definitely helped our friendship stay close despite the distance that keeps us apart.

Our friendship is still going strong, but being long-distance BFFs is definitely challenging at times. Those 1,355.6 miles don’t seem to exist while texting, but the IMG_1162birthdays and special occasions that are missed suck, but it does make the ones where we are able to be there for each other that much more special.

It’s now my second, almost third, year in Portland and being so far away from family and friends has not gotten any easier, but it has made my time away from school that much more exciting. (Also who doesn’t need a reason for vacation?)

Moving In and Moving Out, With Friends or Without.

There is nothing like moving into a new place, a new environment, and I could even say into a new chapter of life. The city has always attracted me, and with it came many opportunities to meet people and make new friends. Being one of the few Mexican Americans living on campus made it interesting trying to fit in. Nonetheless, with time I made new friends, and eventually got close with a few. At the time, I was living alone in Broadway but knew that I eventually wanted to move in with my friends.

From my experience, the more roommates you have, the more issues and tensions come up. The question is how these issues will be addressed and solved in a respectful manner?

I am a pretty laid back person, and I admit, shy. It takes me awhile to trust any person, I observe first, talk little, and try to understand the person. However, we all have different personalities, different ways of thinking, and making friends.

At the beginning of one of my move-ins, everything looked promising. We all expected to get along, go out during the weekends, and even throw parties at our place. However, issues came up. Someone wouldn’t clean up after themselves, someone would always be late paying bills, someone would constantly have their girlfriend over, someone had a huge ego, and someone was under age, the list goes on. By the end everything had changed, the lack of communication and respect didn’t help. I saw it as a learning experience, good and bad.

In the end the six of us separated, three of my former roommates stayed together and found a new place to live. I fortunately, paired up with one of my other roommates and found a new place. Nonetheless, some friendships were lost and others were changed.