Hallmark’s recent creation pleases gay community

Regina Garcia Cano

Photo courtesy of paperwords.com.

Credit: DKS Editors

It’s the little things that count, isn’t it? You go to the store looking for a greeting card for your boyfriend or girlfriend. But what if none of the cards you find seem to exactly match your relationship?

Recently, Hallmark released four different greeting card designs targeted at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. With phrases such as, “Two hearts. One Promise,” this type of cards has been gladly received by some members of the LGBT community.

“I do like the idea that they’re offering them,” Chase Dummermuth, musical theater and fashion merchandising major, said. “I think that now that America and the world, actually, as a whole is becoming more open to the LGBT community, something small like a greeting card from one homosexual partner to another should definitely be recognized.”

Dummermuth said he has never bought a card targeted to gay men. In the past, when he needed a card, he made it himself or bought a card that made no reference to sexual orientation.

Hallmark is not the only greeting card company trying to fulfill the LGBT community’s needs. Three Way Designs and Paper Words are also gay-friendly.

Paper Words owner Rob Fortier said he began designing gay-themed cards because, being a gay man himself, he wanted to buy a card that did not necessarily have the rainbow on it. His cards have been on the market since 2003.

Fortier said it is challenging to design a card for a gay couple without using a picture of two men. Instead of using symbols that represent gay and lesbian people, he uses language or illustrations.

“I wanted to design cards that just looked like cards for everybody else, that people can stock and put in stores shelved right next to your Mother’s Day card – (Cards) that people can think they’re just the same like anybody else’s,” Fortier said.

But not all members of the LGBT community receive gay-themed cards with open arms.

PRIDE!Kent Secretary Kat Rybski said this kind of card is unnecessary. “A lot of (cards) just say, ‘Happy anniversary, and I love you very much,'” Rybski said. “And that’s kind of like, no matter who you love, you don’t need a special thing for gay people. Gay people love people just the same way as straight people.”

PRIDE!Kent Vice President Max Harrington agreed with Rybski. He said members of the LGBT community are “just normal people,” and he finds it pointless to visit the gay-friendly section in a Hallmark store.

Hallmark spokeswoman Sarah Gronberg Kollel said the cards will be available around the country by summer of 2009. Individual store owners, however, reserve the right to choose which cards they carry.

Hallmark Gold Crown Stores in Stow and Ravenna do not carry these cards yet.

Fortier hopes at one point every store in the world will carry gay and lesbian greeting cards because, “we’re everywhere.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Regina Garcia Cano at [email protected].