LGTBQ+ Love Notes: How to Send Your Own Note



What we’re doing: For Valentine’s Day, the Rural Youth Catalyst Project, in collaboration with the Rural Assembly, will be sharing love notes to rural LGBTQ young people. We will post these on our website and social media channels and share them far and wide. (You can learn more about the project over on our project homepage and read some submissions.)


Ready to send a note? We’ve rounded up everything you need to know below.  (Already know what you want to say? Email it now to Kim Phinney at Rural Youth Catalyst Project.)  

What do you mean by love note? 

It’s a public Valentine, a brief, love-filled, affirming message that you are writing to rural LGBTQ youth. However, we ask that you not reference a specific young person by name. 

How long should it be? It can be a sentence or a paragraph. 

Can I just send a video? Yes. If it’s easier to record a very quick video message feel free to do so. 

What should I say?: Take a minute to let our young people know that they are beautiful, loved, and perfect. Let them know that they are wanted, needed, and valued in rural communities. We hope they seek adventure of the best kind, but they should know they always have a hometown to return to.  

What should I include about myself? Make sure you introduce yourself or sign your note. You can let them know who you are either personally or professionally or both.  If you identify as LGBTQ and you feel comfortable including that as part of your note, go for it. We also invite notes from couples and families. Straight and Cisgender allies are equally welcome to share their love and write a note. 

If you live in a rural area or are from a rural area, we encourage you to include the community, state, or region that you are from as part of your message. We want our young people to know that they are welcomed and wanted in specific towns, regions, states across the country. Let’s make our young people and our rural regions visible. 

If you don’t currently live in a rural area but you’re from a rural community and/or work on rural issues or with rural communities, we want you to share your love too. 

Should I send a photo? While not necessary, if you would like to include a photo of yourselves that we will post with your note please feel free to do so.  

Where do I send it? Send via email to Kim Phinney, at Rural Youth Catalyst Project. Please be sure to include your contact information in case we need to follow up with you. (Having trouble with the link? Copy and paste her email address: kphinney@ruralyouthcatalyst.org)

Share please! Share this project with your local schools, youth organizations, parents, places of worship, libraries, Y’s. sports teams, local theater group, youth chorus…wherever there are young people.  

Invite others to write. Share about the project with others who may want to write a note.


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Drawing Resilience: Julie Rae Powers

Julie Rae Powers’ photographic and written work has focused on family history, coal, Appalachia, the queer “female” gaze, the butch body, and queer chosen families. They are the author and editor of the forthcoming Reclamation: Queering Appalachia’s Visual History and the memoir To Thine Own Self Be True, both out in 2024.