For LGBTQ+ History Month, Chenee Psaros from our LGBTQ+ Staff Network, Proudly King’s, has kindly penned a guest blog on the depths of love.

LGBT History Month has the fabulous fortune of having Valentine’s Day blossoming into red, heart-shaped glory right in the middle of February. Barely having recovered from Christmas, we get cajoled into celebrating love at a time when we have more freedom to love whom we choose than ever before in the UK. And that is a good thing, right? Because, ‘love trumps hate’ and ‘choosing love’ can only make the world a better place.

In Western Society the privileging of couple-relationships is something that happens to everyone at some point in their lives, whether we are queer or we’re straight, whether we’re trans or we’re cis, no matter what our age, race or ethnicity, we are bound to be single at some point. Couple-privilege discriminates indiscriminately. We are consistently shown a narrative of romantic love or traditional relationships as one of two people meeting, falling in love, having a sexual relationship and settling down. Coupling is entwined with attraction, desire, love and sex. We are told these ingredients are essential for a successful partnership. In our history partnerships are mostly exclusive, and they are usually the most important relationship of our lives, surpassed only by those which we have with our children.  We are almost never given alternatives.

As part of its series of events for LGBT History Month, Proudly King’s, the King’s College Staff LGBTQIA Network is hosting What is Love? The Depths of Queer Relationships; a panel discussion to examine looking beyond the privilege of couple-relationships to offer up alternatives. We are exploring how and why people choose to be alone in a world designed for pairs. And why, if we can love our friends without limits, love our families forever, love our jobs and lead fulfilling lives, we are considered deficient if we don’t feel sexual attraction? Why do we conflate love relationships with sex? Why is being single seen as something to be pitied, even if it is by choice. Equally, if we can love more than one parent, more than one child, more than one sibling why is it is not common practice to love more than one partner. Why are people who chose to engage ethically in non-monogamous relationships villainised?

We are hoping to have a sensitive discussion regarding alternatives to traditional relationships. We will be highlighting those relationships included in the Asexual and Non-Monogamous spectrums. We are looking at narratives that go beyond prioritising romantic and sex-based relationships over non-sexual or non-romantic relationships. We hope you can join us.