Hallmark now makes cards to congratulate your trans friends and family members on starting their transition.
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?
hmmm, I think I pretty much agree. I also always handmake cards, so I’m not a fan of storebought cards anyway. I think the sentiment is really nice but yeah, it also does feel a little bit like it’s just them trying to make money. Oh well.