Over $14 Billion is spent every year on Valentine’s Day. Most of that money goes to last minute cheesy cards, candy hearts, flowers, stuffed animals, and other relics that are supposed to signify our love for one another. While it’s nice to get those things from your sweetie/s or your mama, a lot of us are left desiring so much more after all the hubbub of red and pink. How do we show our love for each other, for our communities, for the communities we stand in solidarity with? This past Valentine’s Day, SONG members across the South worked to collectively think through these questions.
“…I realized that I was a part of something bigger…I was a part of something honest and full of love…”
As part of the People’s 100 Days (www.southtosouth.org), SONG helped lead actions in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia to declare that February 14th was about more than just snuggling up with our honies over a candle-lit dinner. From video campaigns to collective valentine making to Love Trucks to an Amor En Los Calles/Love In the Streets parade, SONG members celebrated and cultivated this love in the true spirit of queer liberation. For SONG and the Southern Freedom Movement, this Valentine’s day was about declaring our triumphant love for one another, for the freedom to move beyond borders, and for the right to stay in the places that we call home.
Matthias Pressley, SONG Member (NC)
My favorite pieces of the Amor en las Calles Parade was the glitter and the different meaningful themes of each stop in the parade! I love my SONG fam!!!
Jazz Franklin, SONG Member (AL)
When reflecting on my time during the Feb. 14th action I find myself most proud of the end result. During the planning and executing I was stressed, seemingly overworked and insecure about what my peer group might think of our outcome: Would we be good enough, impactful enough, would we meet the standards of SONGs mission? But sitting down on Feb 15th and watching people gather together to be a part of something I helped create was amazing. To hear/watch people share such intimate parts of themselves through art and narratives grounded me. I realized that I was a part of something bigger than the stresses of organizing an event. I was a part of something honest and full of love.
Angela Walters Cloninger, SONG Member (NC)
I loved that many generations were represented in our March. We had toddlers, kiddos, teens, college kids, young adults, established adults, and even our beloved elders were represented. Our love has spanned space and time to cherish our chosen family and to bridge gaps in our intersectional communities! It was MAGICAL..!
See more SONG members in Love In the Streets Actions Below!