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3 Elm Avenue
Wolfville, NS, B4P 2A2
Canada

902 697 2123

Valley Vixen is a feminist bookstore and adult toy shop located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. We are passionate about sexual health and pleasure and offer the highest quality toys and books for your enjoyment. 

Queer Love

Blog

Queer Love

Desdemona Shaw

Valentine's Day is always highly divisive. Simultaneously promoted as a time to shower your romantic partner in affection, and decried as a marketing scheme by Big Greeting Card to rake in upwards of 19 billion dollars a year, many of us have mixed feelings about how to celebrate this holiday. It can be hard to avoid feeling forced to participate, especially when you do care about expressing love. In recent years I've seen an upswing in alternative forms of Valentine's Day celebrations - galentine's day and its gender-nonspecific sibling, palentine's day - which I think speaks to the side of Valentine's Day that does draw us in. Folks love to share love. 

In the queer and trans community, where we spend a lot of time dismantling hetero- and cisnormative relationship expectations, love takes many forms. In an effort to approach Valentine's Day from a different angle, to uplift and celebrate that element of love and care at its heart, I spoke to some members of the local community about their relationships with love. 

Ky says

To talk about love as an aromatic person, especially with Valentine’s day coming up, may seem strange to some. It may sound even stranger to say I love Valentine’s day. However, my circle of friends has renamed it Palentine’s day for ourselves.

We use it as an opportunity to express the gratitude we feel year round for our friendships, and even get each other gifts (but mostly use it as an excuse to eat snacks and play games, and enjoy each other’s company). Platonic love is something I value most because it is something that has prevailed in my life even when supposedly unconditional familial love has failed me. It has kept me strong and close to people in hard times when romantic love has gone sour or faltered. I associate platonic love is something that comes with comfortable boundaries and consent. When I’m unable to spend time with someone, or don’t have the capacity to do something, I can often comfortably say no and be met with more understanding than questions with friends.

When in a relationship, that hasn’t been the case. It’s meant communication and explanation to the point of burnout. And no matter how healthy a romantic relationship has been for me, it has always been a source of dread and exhaustion. Friendship, on the other hand, has always been a source of refuge and freedom, and that’s what I like to celebrate this time of year.

Izzy says

This is going to sound cheesy but love is sharing and caring and listening. It’s a group of mothers who babysit each other’s kids whenever needed. It’s sitting yourself down and doing a tarot reading to force yourself to reflect. It’s that moment when you realize your cat trusts a person more than you’ve had a chance to. It’s sea animal shaped kraft dinner. It’s spontaneously dyeing your pubes pink because your bud has extra bleach and dye. It’s knitting together while watching law and order most evenings. It’s mixtures of essential oils that are supposed to help with that breakup, that sad day, those cramps. Love is flowers and nine hour brunches and telling hard truths and all that cheesy crap. Sucks. But it’s love. (Yeah I just ended it like that. Ew, I know.)

Kay says

Love is a complex word that can mean a myriad of things. For me, I feel loved when I feel understood, when someone just sees me for all my flaws and just completely accepts me. I know I am expressing love when I’m conveying to a person that I want the absolute best things for them, I’ll be there to help pick up the pieces, and I want to see them for all that they are and want. Love could be seen as heightened level of empathy and something I think we all fundamentally deserve and crave.

Love for my wife plays a huge part of my everyday life. She’s my favourite person to vent to and I feel very comfortable just being myself. We have worked (and continue to work) to make sure that we are supportive of one another, especially when we fuck up and do things that might’ve hurt the other. We have been together for over four years and we talk often about how our love continues to deepen. I think back to when I first felt I loved her and how that feels somehow different than how I feel now. Now, I recognize that love I felt was valid and how complex the love I have for her now feels.

Al says

Love is a weird concept for me. It was something that was drilled into me to want. However, after growing up a bit I have realized that it isn’t a big deal to me in the romantic spectrum. I pour out my heart in the platonic sense but romantically the stars just don’t align.

Taylor says

Love to me has some of the typical connotations that you hear: My partner that I share my life with, my family, my animals. But being pansexual, polyam and non-binary, my relationship to “love” is queered pretty easily. So outside those mainstream connotations, I’ve been making an effort to express love for my friends more. I think we hold intimacy in too high regard and demand it only be shared with partners (and usually only one at a time). If love is such a powerful force in people’s lives, it seems silly to keep it under tight lock and key instead of sharing it with everyone we care about.

Thank you to everyone who gave their thoughts! The power and magic of queer love can never be overstated, and I'm honoured that these folks were willing to share a piece of that spirit.

Whatever your relationship with love and Valentine's Day, I hope that you receive all the community and care you need to feel loved and appreciated today ❤