On one hand, this is an incredibly sweet idea. As I’ve said before, I’m all about celebrating those non-heteronormative, non-cisnormative milestones such as coming out, transitioning, et cetera and I think they deserve to be acknowledged more often.
On the other hand… let’s be real, this is about making money. When I heard the news about these cards, I was as uncomfortable as I was pleased. I’m cis, not trans, and don’t want to step on any toes here, so I really want to know what those who are trans and/or nonbinary think about this.
But it gave me the same feeling of discomfort that I have when I hear about, like, corporations marching in Pride parades. Because you and I and all of us know that they don’t really give a shit about us: It’s all about maintaining their image as quote unquote open-minded. I don’t want to see LGBTQ+ identities and lives commercialized, you know?
I keep coming back to the idea that celebrating these things is important, though. I don’t think the idea of making cards or other cute little gifts is inherently bad, but I am majorly weirded out by the idea that these are items you could find in the aisles of your local CVS or whatever.
My grassroots LGBTQ+ activism background and my childhood spent creating handmade cards/gifts have combined to make me feel that buying a store-bought “congratulations on your transition!” card is never something I would do. It’s so much more personal when you make it yourself. It means more. When someone I know had top surgery earlier this year, several of my friends and I made “get well soon” cards and they were a big hit.
I just can’t justify spending money on these transition cards. I think the people who would buy them mean well, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see that they care. I can’t help feeling, though, that this money would be better spent if donated to an organization that works to reduce levels of trans poverty and homelessness, supports trans youth, et cetera – and that the trans person for whom that card is destined would probably appreciate the more heartfelt gesture of a homemade card.
But that’s just me. As I wrote above, I’d love to hear from people who would be in a position to actually receive such a card. Would it matter to you? What ideas for alternatives do you have? CARDS MADE BY CRAFTY LITTLE GAY AND TRANS HANDS OR HALLMARK CARDS?