Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not quite there yet

There are times when I read a blog that will state being gay is not that big of a deal anymore. I will also read that most people will accept us or say nothing even if they have a problem with gay people. I really am rubbed the wrong way when it is on a straight blog or in an article that states we have everything straight people have and should stop complaining. I find however it only takes a moment of shopping to have cold water thrown on me as to how much I am 'not' a part of society. Just trying to get a card to give to Dave for our one year anniversary is a feat in itself. I went to two different stores and I quickly saw that I am not even on the customer radar screen. All the cards are geared towards a woman giving her man a card. They all say from wife or girlfriend to man, if they don't say it, then there is a picture of a woman on it. Why not have neutral cards with just happy anniversary. Same with a romantic gift, there is always an indication of man to woman or woman to man. The thing that frustrates me is if I go to a gay store, then everything has a pornographic tone to it and sometimes the moment is just suppose to be romantic. The same goes for any hotel package, trip etc. You never see a gay couple represented in any type of advertising unless in a gay setting. Still to this day if there is a gay couple in an ad, they are there for a laugh. I know some people will say lighten up it is only a joke. I just say back, would we laugh if the commercial used people of a minority race or religion as a stereotypical joke? I don't think so, I think most people would be uncomfortable with an ad like that. Some times I think we surround ourselves with people who support us and that can make us forget the real world, I just want to see a gay wal-mart or sears ad, do that and they would have my business over any other stores. However please don't make your company out to be a hero for doing it, that is like saying "look how good we are for doing what we should have been doing all along".

Today a friend let me down a little with her slip of ignorance. She was stepping around a question until I realised what she was trying to ask me. I said to her "are you trying to ask which one of us is the wife in this relationship!" I told her it does not work that way, maybe some relationships are kind of like that but from the people I know of, I can only think of two. I told her both Dave and I want a man, a husband not a wife. If I wanted a woman I would date a woman. She then went on to ask if I would take her to a gay bar for the experience, great I thought now we have become an 'experience', one where she could go and tell people about how open minded she is and how daring to venture into a gay bar. I explained they are the same as straight bars, a group of guys and girls dancing as friends only every now and then she may see two girls or two guys kissing, that even depends on the bar too. I was also disappointed in the amount of people that she told, I knew that she would be the friend to spill the beans but I had hoped I would not become the "did you hear about" news story in her circle of friends. Sometimes people can be such cliches sadly.


Jay said...

Maybe you can look on the brighter side and say for the cards thing, maybe start a business of it and make it really successful?

Anonymous said...

I agree start your own card company and I will buy them forsure! Next month is our one year anniversary and I have been looking at cards and feeling the same what you wrote here.

A Troll At Sea said...


There IS, or at least was, a little greeting card company that made all sorts of cards for gay couples--the artist was the sister of a gay man who felt exactly the way you did.

I'm sorry your "friend" was so tactless; there is no way of arguing away individual stupidity. On the marketing front, though, think about what the world looks like when you have a choice of marketing to 95% or 5%, or 90% or 10%, if you prefer, though I think we're pretending there, myself.

It's not that nobody is interested--it's just that niche marketing of ALL kinds is done by little companies operating at the edges of monsters with a very BIG footprint. And that's before we even get into exclusive distribution deals and other things that stifle small business in the name of "business."

I guess there's a reason they call nastiness "business as usual."

You could always just write Dave your own note...

Hang in there.

john said...

I've never believed in conventional cards anyway. I have stacks of regular blank stationary type cards. This way, I can say what's on my mind and not have a card dictate what I should say. It's easier than searching/shopping (I don't like shopping anyway) for a card with just the right sentiment.
Andrew loves my thoughts on paper!!

james said...

I ran into the same thing when i went shopping for just a nice little valentine's day card for my guy. No luck at the big name pharmacy so i went to the GAY CARD SHOP in the middle of my BIG FAT GAY NEIGHBORHOOD and they had all sorts of nice cards for your mom, sister, wife, husband, but when it came to the same sex specific cards, there were no sweet, 'i love you' type cards, all were naughty or had naked guys on them. I don't need to give my guy a card with a picture of another naked guy on it, he's got me! So i wound up getting a neutral 'Happy V Day' card at the pharmacy.