Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Heteronormative Christmas Shopping

I believe it's no secret that I've been positively hounding etsy to find the perfect Christmas card to send this year. In my adventures last night, once again searching, searching, I stumbled across the absolutely most fabulous listing ever. Bear in mind that I have been conducting this search periodically for the last three weeks and looking at card after card, with countless family and couple photos. So I was shocked almost out of my seat last night when I saw this listing scrolling by.

"Happy Holidays from Drew & Ian"

The very first same sex couple I have seen advertised in an etsy Christmas card listing! I was so excited that I actually contacted the seller to thank her. This isn't the only card design she's advertising, and it is the only one she is displaying with a same sex couple, but she's listing a card with a same sex couple! Thrown in the mix, there, just like it's perfectly normal that, sometimes, gays send out Christmas cards.

One of the things that frustrates me immensely is our heteronormative culture. I have no idea the number of sample Christmas cards I've looked at in the past month, but I can tell you, without a doubt, that this is the closest to a family that looks like mine that I've seen. Our family isn't made up of a husband, a wife and three towheaded little boys. There are some truly gorgeous designs available on etsy, but the families I see in those sample cards do not look like my family.

Isn't that the point of advertising a product? To allow your potential customer to be able to imagine themself in your product?

I'm not saying that every couple, every family should be a homosexual one, because I know that's not how society works. Just because my community is almost exclusively gay does not mean the world, at large, is.

What I'm saying is, for the love of Pete, throw us a bone!

Put a gay couple, a gay family in your advertisement and then act like it's just any other add. It's not a big deal. We are everywhere.

The world doesn't make a big deal out of it by announcing "Look, everyone! A GAY!" But, so often, if a gay couple, family or person is featured in advertising, a movie, a tv show, a book, it's done exactly like that.

"Look, everyone! A GAY!"

It's a Plot Point or a Lesson or a Comedy Routine.

It's never just an ordinary part of life.

Why not?

The Gay is everywhere, even when you think it isn't.

So why can't our society just treat it like it's an ordinary part of life and not some special circumstance that needs to be pointed out?

That is the key.

When those that form the opinions for society at large (i.e. mass media) treat The Gay as normal and accepted, that is the point at which the tide of public opinion will start to change.

That is the point at which we will be able to see ourselves in the product, in the characters.

For now, though, I'm throwing out major kudos to Pixel & Post, for not being afraid to treat The Gay as just another facet of our society.

PS: for anyone who maybe had a seizure when they saw the price tag, please note that's for 50 cards at $1.48 - right around average for photo greeting cards printers - and that the cards are printed inside and out (not average for photo greeting card printers) after being customized for you, personally. A pretty good deal, actually, even if it is totally out of our price range.

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