FOR centuries, Valentine’s Day has been celebrated in a heteronormative way, but that is not the case anymore as queer couples are redefining the day of love.
According to Pandu Nghipondoka (30), who met her girlfriend on a WhatsApp group and they have been in a relationship for 15 months, celebrating Valentine’s Day together with your partner shows that you are invested in the relationship and it helps you know if your partner is invested in you and the relationship that has been built.
For the last Valentine’s Day, Nghipondoka and her girlfriend gave each other flowers, chocolate and money.
This year, Nghipondoka says “Dammmmm, I’m not sure if you are ready to hear this. I’ve a big surprise for her. So, I’m going to drive to her town without letting her know that I’m coming, then I’ll ask her something that will change our lives.”
Former Mr Gay Namibia Wendelinus Ndiwakalunga Hamutenya-Jeremia, who has been with his husband Immanuel Jeremia for a decade and have been married for four years, says they normally spend their Valentine’s Day dining and taking pictures.
For this year, they say they will be indoors, and later take a walk in the park just to reflect on their journey since they met at the Ongwediva Trade Fair years ago.
He says many people hesitate to express how much they appreciate their partner, because they either assume their partner already knows, or they are worried that saying it out loud would be awkward.
“The truth is that relationships benefit when couples openly communicate their appreciation for each other,” he says, adding that Valentine’s Day should not be a one-day celebration, but it should be celebrated every day to show each other love.
Hamutenya-Jeremia adds that love is a force more formidable than any other, “It’s invisible, it can’t be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.”
His message to LGBTQI+, and other couples is that love does not discriminate.
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quite understanding, mutual, confidence-sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times, regardless of our sexuality. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”