In the midst of a cold and dreary February, this week marks several days of joy for me. I love to enjoy the all-pink everything, confectionary sweetness of Valentine’s Day. And as part of the holiday, I am choosing to honor the love I have in my life from my partner, family, friends, and myself.
And there’s more love for me to cherish this week. In addition to Valentine’s Day, Wednesday marks my beloved dog’s “gotcha day,” when I get to share the unconditional love we have for each other, and Thursday is my birthday! For me, my birthday is an opportunity to celebrate the love I have for myself, and honor the joy I have found in my life.
As a fat, queer, Jewish woman, it hasn’t always been easy to care for myself. People in the world have tried to tell me my body doesn’t fit into its rigid standards of beauty, that my bisexuality is not legitimate, and that my Jewish identity is a threat to those in power who wish to hold onto the status quo. It would be simple to believe these messages, but instead, especially this week, I choose the radical act of loving myself.
In a world where people are working to eliminate us as LGBTQ+ people and Jews entirely, how revolutionary it is to say, “I am good enough!” I deserve the joy of this week, the love I am grateful to celebrate, the family I have created, and the life I have curated and fought and survived for.
This week, I invite you to join me in this revolution. You too are deserving of love and joy.