Celebrating LOVE at HBS

Pablo Botero, Contributor

LOVE at HBS included a portrait project in Spangler Hall showcasing myriad expressions and manifestations of love by students and partners at HBS. Additionally, RCs were encouraged to answer the question, “what does love mean to you?” on their Aldrich classroom chalkboards, creating a community mural for each section.

Through the portraits, the Club highlighted the diverse and often complex forms of love which can often be overlooked by Valentine’s Day conventions. Students took to their portraits to share stories about love for a partner, a child, a family, a community, a culture, and, importantly, for themselves. As expressed by George Hanscom (HBS ’18), one of the Club co-presidents, “the LGBTSA hosted LOVE at HBS to highlight that love comes in many different forms.  We want everyone in the HBS community to know that how they love — no matter the form — is valued and celebrated.”

To reaffirm the many forms of love is a powerful message for members of the LGBTQ community, some of whom may be used to hearing that our love is “different than, less than.” As mainstream media shows us image after image of straight couples in romantic poses, to offer a different and more inclusive depiction of love is an important indulgence, a small but mighty protest. The different stories from HBS members are reminders that students are loved even if they didn’t have a date on Valentine’s Day, and that it is okay if their relationship doesn’t look like the couple in the Hallmark ads.

The celebration of LOVE at HBS is one of the LGBTSA’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. In October, the Club will celebrate National Coming Out Day to generate awareness about the coming out process by sharing the diverse stories of students. The event includes MyTake sessions in the RC sections, portraits in the Spangler lounge, and a reception for the entire HBS community. In November, the club will celebrate Transgender Awareness Day to elevate the voices of one of the most overlooked, underrepresented, and vulnerable groups in society. The event includes transgender and gender non-conforming stories shared by trans members of the HBS and Boston communities.

We hope that the event reminded the HBS community that, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or relationship status, love comes in many forms – and that one doesn’t need a date to be loved. For all of those who did have dates this Valentine’s Day, we hope that LOVE at HBS reminded them that many other people in their lives aside from their significant others are equally deserving of expressions of love and appreciation.

Pablo Botero (HBS ’18) is a member of the LGBTSA. Before starting in HBS Pablo worked in consumer goods in Colombia and Panama.