What do you do when your same-sex Valentine lives across the ocean in a country that doesn’t accept gays? Make a video statement on Vimeo that’s equal parts saccharine and heart-wrenching, if you’re Seattle vlogger Matty Brown.
Accompanying the video is a note explaining its origins:
It wasn’t meant for anyone else’s eyes, but I thought the message was sincere and good enough to be seen by others…This is the Valentine’s Day video by me for my partner, XXXXXXX XXXXX. My partner lives somewhere across the Atlantic. He lives a very hidden life because of the way his society will treat him if it found out about him being gay. I’ve made this video for him to show the support and passion toward my Love and human rights. It was supposed to be a private video, solely for my boyfriend’s eyes, but it turned into a statement of fighting for the one you love when I realized I wouldn’t be able to say his name or show his face in the video. XXXXXXX, Happy Valentine’s Day! Someday society will let us feel fully accepted!
While the first part of the video is adorably silly (“I love you more than cherry Chapstick”), the second half gets more serious, with Matty’s partner pixelated in every photo of them together so that you can’t tell what his face looks like. The juxtaposition works, and underscores how serious a matter it is to not be able to tell the world the identity of the person you love.
Matty makes a vow at the end of the video: “And with all my might, I will rip those pixels off, one by one, until their souls are raw.”
We’re taking a similar vow this Valentine’s Day—not just to love the special people in our charmed New York City life, but to help make sure that, in less fortunate nations, our type of love will stop being forbidden.