Ways to Embody Queer Self-Love
Updated: Aug 5
The following ideas of self-care and self-love showcase movement toward radical self-love and love for others. These ideas were cultivated within the Collaborative's LGBTQ+ Youth Justice Circles. The question prompt we asked LGBTQ+ youth was "How do you show love for yourself, and others?"
Let me ask you this: How do you show love for yourself? And how do you show love for others?
Oftentimes, when we think of self-love, we think of self-care. Visions of bubble baths, an at home face mask, and splurging on fancy treats come to mind. For many in the Queer community, simple acts of self-love equate to self-care in more accessible and safe ways. Breaking down the ideal of self-care within the Queer community is vital for believing we deserve self-love and self-care even when we may think we are not worth it (Spoiler Alert: we are always worth it!).
The importance of asking how we show love for ourselves as Queer individuals is a deeply profound way of assessing how we are in tune or out of sync with what we need to show ourselves the utmost love we deserve.
From Big Moods Imagery
Ways to show love for yourself:
1. Encourage positive self-talk
Try to reassess how you view yourself and rethink about how you feel about yourself. Turn negative self-commentary in positive, affirming comments
2. Recognize situations you shouldn’t be concerning yourself with
If you find yourself in conversations or in spaces that drain you, know when it is time to leave those moments for your own self-care. Create the boundaries you need to create.
3. Find time to appreciate the things you love about yourself
Take time out of your day to appreciate your freckles, your nose, your eyeshadow, your smile, whatever it may be for you and celebrate it!
4. Make things for you by you
Make a playlist of your favorite songs to sing or move around to, paint a picture of something you love about yourself, find a favorite food dish to make. Enjoy these things when you need a boost!
5. Find nurture in nature
Take time to appreciate the sun, check in with your natural surroundings, and embrace time outdoors. This time could even become a multifaceted way of caring for yourself! Paint or read outside or check-in with friends while on a walk.
From Vector Images
6. Look for new or reemerging interests
Seek out new hobbies or revisit interests from the past. Learning new things or engaging in past enjoyment can be an instant mood changer and cause for celebrating your skills!
7. Engage in self-reflection
Try to find moments during your week to self-reflect on your accomplishments, well-being, and overall progress towards self-love. There is no right or wrong way to reflect!
8. Celebrate the little things
Find reasons to celebrate the smallest and the biggest of accomplishments throughout your day. From waking up to brushing your teeth to reading a few pages, celebrate what you’ve done!
9. Find your community
Look for people who support, love, care, and nurture you for who you are.
10. Embrace who you are
Be your true authentic self and tell your story the way you want to tell it.
Ways to show others love:
1. Take a profound interest in what others around you enjoy
Find meaningful ways to show other people you love and value them. Immerse yourself in their interests and be an engaged participant in their life.
2. Showing care for others
Helping mentor and give guidance to folks around you when can help foster community growth and development together.
3. Setting up clear boundaries
Though it can be hard to put up boundaries, they are necessary for joint self-growth and can also help create new ways of engagement between you and others you may enjoy more.
4. Practicing patience
Find the space to be patient with others as they unlearn and grow on important topics or on aspects of the world around you that are important.
5. Being present
Engaging in active listening, participation, and kindness shows how you care for others and how you want to be cared by others back.
While these lists are not exhaustive and are just the beginning on how to show yourself and others love, it is important to remember the connection between self-love and justice for Queer identified youth. When we think of justice, we often think of punitive measures or applications not applicable to ourselves day to day. However, justice can be found in the ways we present ourselves, and how we encourage one another in our communities to show up for not only each other but for ourselves. Showcasing justice through radical self-love and care is crucial to finding and naming the spaces in which LGBTQIA+ youth can prosper.
About the Author
Mads Clark (She/her & They/them)
Mads is a graduate student in the Leadership in Student Affairs program through the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. Maddie currently works with student diversity and inclusion programming and dialogue projects. They are passionate about restorative justice in higher education, student advocacy, and queer film and art.