Rainbow Rant: A single queer person's political manifesto

Joy Ellison

Valentine's Day will be upon us soon, with all its unreasonable expectations and crappy chocolate harvested by child labor. Now that it's easier to find a commercially produced holiday card designed with queer people in mind, there's more pressure to participate in capitalism's annual celebration of romantic love than ever before.

If you find yourself without a partner this Valentine's Day, eschew disappointment. Whether you're proudly asexual, between partners, prioritizing yourself or just plain unlucky in love, you are a member of an emerging demographic that has the potential to demand radical political change.

Single queer people could be the threat to the capitalist patriarchal family system that radical activists once imagined queer relationships to be. More Americans in the United States are single than ever before, and that fact could lead to a dramatic reimagining of every aspect of our political economic system. To realize that potential, instead of sliding further into a neoliberal dystopian nightmare, we need to organize. To that end, here is my political agenda for single queer people.

Health care for all

I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but no one should have to sleep with someone to be able to go to the doctor. High-quality health care should be available for everyone, but single people are insured at a lower rate than their married counterparts. Access to health care should be a human right that isn't regulated by your love life.

Affordable housing now

We need affordable housing, and not just because it sucks to be in your 30s and living with roommates. Rising housing costs make it difficult for domestic violence survivors to leave abusive relationships. Our city should be pursuing policies that prioritize housing access and racial justice, rather than the pipe dreams of developers and gentrifiers.

Treat chosen family just as important as romantic relationships. For queer people, our networks of friends, comrades and community members nurture and sustain us even when our families of origin do not. We need to share our resources with each other and make meaningful commitments to each other that are based on types of love besides romance and sexual attraction.

Queer people have long imagined radically different futures. It's time to expand our political demands beyond the boundaries of romantic love. Single queers, rise up!