Somehow, despite being the shortest month of the year, February has become the month that has the horniest of the holidays. I mean, it’s American Heart Month, National Weddings Month, and Spunky Old Broads Month (we’ve all seen “Ammonite” by now, yes? Definitely a spunky old broad situation. Or “Carol?“ “Spunky Old Broad” is like a whole subcategory of our movies). There’s a whole week called “International Flirting Week,” which just sounds like a very precarious time for foreign affairs officials, or maybe a week-long multi-country Olivia Cruise. And then there are the days themselves; February 5th is National Shower with a Friend Day (sounds pretty gay to me).
Valentine’s Day? You bet it’s gay. There are three possible dudes who could have been the St. Valentine: One got famous for performing illegal marriages (gay), one was just a regular bishop (less gay), and the other, arguably the most famous of the trio, got famous for spending all his days yearning for a woman and writing her vague but romantic letters, aka the plot of every WLW romance book ever. I mean, the current iteration of Valentine’s Day is one of the straightest holidays out there, but if you look closely — really squint — you can just see the gayness hidden in its heart-shaped depths.
But first there’s Galentine’s Day on February 13th, a holiday created by straight women No Homo-ing so hard that they needed a special day for sharing their love for their friends. It started as a fake holiday created by fictional ally Leslie Knope in season 2 of “Parks and Recreation” but has since become a widely celebrated occasion marked with loud brunch, waffles, thoughtful gifts, and presumably the inevitable crashing of drag venues. Knope describes it as “Lilith Fair minus the angst plus fritattas”
Galentine’s Day is the one day a year when straight women act how lesbians do basically 24/7. What they consider special and quirky is our everyday reality. Here’s how Galentine’s Day is basically every day for lesbians.
No cis, straight men. This is a big one, obviously. Maybe, yes, the straight women who celebrate Galentine’s spend it discussing their dating fails with men only to repeat those same fails the very next day on Valentine’s, but gay women can just seamlessly roll from one date night to the next, as — let’s be honest — we tend to do anyway. We’re probably out celebrating love with all kinds of queer people, but I think we can all agree that cis, straight men aren’t at our weekly kikis.
“Ladies celebrating ladies,” aka every day ever in a WLW relationship. Our dates, like straight girl friend dates, are much more likely to look like a stroll through a museum exhibition on Frida Kahlo, a serious discussion of third-wave feminism and intersectionality at Bluestockings, dancing our asses off at a Janelle Monae concert, or court-side seats at a WNBA game than a fancy dinner out and a bunch of roses and the pressure to give a blowjob at the end of the night.
Baked goods. I realize that Galentine’s Day is usually very waffle-centric, but this is a primo opportunity to put on “Fried Green Tomatoes” and get into an incredibly cute food fight of your own with your live-in girlfriend, because what are you doing with your life if you’re not capitalizing on every opportunity to cosplay some adorable Ruth-Idgie situations? Lesbians are obsessed with baking every damn day of the year, and straight girls need to learn that heart-shaped cakes pops are appropriate for literally every occasion and not just February 13th.
Crafts painstakingly made for each other. Galentine’s Day is usually centered around some sort of craft, be it love letters to friends, a paint and sip moment, or vision boards. Lesbians spend their entire lives crafting, but our crafts are next level. Rather than gifting “crocheted flower pins” and “mosaics made out of the broken glass of each other’s favorite soda bottles,” we’re more likely to end up giving our partners a perfectly planned and sanded artisanal dining room table hewn from her favorite kind of tree. Or, maybe, you’ll be gifted a hat that looks exactly like the one Luce wears in “Imagine Me and You,” which only took your partner six months to knit.
Insistent earnestness. In The Atlantic’s write up about Galentine’s Day, they call the holiday “insistently earnest,” and I’m not sure there’s ever been another phrase that better describes a sapphic relationship, especially on any given romantic day — say, a month-aversary, the commemoration of that time you first started dressing alike, or you know, something like Valentine’s Day. Insistent earnestness is a lesbian lifestyle, and our straight friends should channel it into their everyday lives, too.
Aggressive generosity. Okay, nope, I found a better phrase. That same article from The Atlantic also calls the holiday “aggressively generous,” which if you’ve ever gotten gifts (or head, let’s be real) from a lesbian before, doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Queer women are a truly giving bunch, and not just on February 13th.
It’s about “forever friends.” I mean, come on. “Forever friends” is maybe the gal-palliest way to say “life partners who like to make out.” You know what’s forever? The relationship between two women who love each other (even after we break up, in most cases). Lesbians take forever friends to a whole new codependent meaning, and we don’t need a brunch party with heart balloons to do so.
And yeah, while we love our partners, we do still take time to celebrate our other friendships, too. It’s just that odds are good we’ve already celebrated many a Valentine’s with said friends before. That’s how we roll.
Because we get to celebrate each other back to back (and front to front, and really however else you like it), it’s pretty nice to get to celebrate Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day one after the other. In a way, maybe the month of February is our true “Happiest Season.” Or maybe we just know how to show each other a good time, no matter the occasion.