How To Survive Valentine's Day When You're Still In The Closet

Valentine’s day can be hard for a lot of people. It’s a celebration of love that can highlight instances of lack in that department, and single people everywhere are having a rough week of emptying thick buckets of ice cream and large bottles of wine in sheer anticipation of loneliness. Still, there is a subset of the population (one that I was once part of) for whom Valentine’s day is especially difficult. 

I came out as bisexual to the world at the age of seventeen. It was weird. I was lucky enough to come from a loving and accepting household. I faced very little discrimination, because I had already left the incredibly homophobic catholic High School I had gone to. A few people told me it was a phase, or refused to acknowledge my sexuality, but I was never forced to suffer through anything overtly painful. It felt as though a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. 

Not everyone gets the chance to lift this weight as painlessly as I did, and any reminder and celebration of relationships (which usually fall under heteronormative standards anyways) can be difficult to bear. However, all hope is not lost! There are ways you can ease your pain, and I hope this article will help. 

1. LGBT+ movies/TV and ice cream

Ice cream is an obvious classic, but there are few things that made me feel more comfortable with myself when I was still in the closet than watching romantic, gay films and television shows. Unfortunately, there weren’t too many easily findable ones at the time, but luckily, things are changing. Representation matters.

If you’re short for ideas, I’ve got you covered with some of my personal favourites:

Films: Carol, Love Simon, Laurence Anyways, Moonlight, The Handmaiden.

Series: Black Mirror (the San Junipero episode), One Day At A Time, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (starting at season 4 except for Doppelgangland which has the best ship of them all: Alyson Hannigan/  Vampire Alyson Hannigan. I am here for  it), Will and Grace, Steven Universe.

2. Self care

It’s not going to be an easy day, so make sure to take time to be kind to yourself: remember that you are an amazing person who deserves to be loved, and that your gender or sexual identity has nothing to do with how good a person you are. It’s never too late to come out, and it’s important to take your time to be comfortable with yourself. Take a hot bath, listen to some great music, eat some great food… do what makes you happy, and more importantly, stay away from triggering or upsetting things or people. 

3. Talk to a close friend

If you are out to one or a few very close friends, talk to these people, spend time with those people, and try to remember that these are people who love and accept you for who you are. These are the people who will lift your mood and make you feel better about yourself. If you aren’t out to anyone, reach out to a friend regardless. If this is a person who makes you happy, who is good for you, then spending time with them even if they don’t yet know about what you’re going through will be uplifting. If you get the courage to do so, tell them the truth: you might be surprised by how welcoming people can be. If you still aren’t ready to do that though, don’t beat yourself up over it. In time, you will get there.

4. Look to the future

Remember that your current predicament (that of being closeted) is temporary. There are resources available to help LGBT+ people in crisis and the world is slowly becoming more and more open-minded and understanding. One day, you will meet the love of your life, and they will be so excited that you are who you are. They will love you for it and for everything else you have to offer. It’s real.

5. Valentine’s Day is just a day

When all else fails, remind yourself that February 14th is just one day of the year, and that it might be harder than you’d have expected, but you can get through it. You’ve been through so much already: you’ve got this. 

I believe in you.