It’s almost Valentine’s Day and so — with pink-colored dollar signs in their eyes — Hallmark has unveiled an ad campaign featuring a Black lesbian couple and a White gay couple smooching over a greeting card.
While it’s nice to see same-sex couples couples locking lips in a commercial and Hallmark famously made news in 2014 with a Mothers’ Day card for kids with two moms and a similar Father’s Day card (coincidentally drawn by a transgender artist), a same-sex smooch doesn’t mean much from the company; not really.
We know we probably sound like Valentine’s Day grinches, but hear us out.
In 2014, with about 18 U.S. states having legal same-sex marriage, Hallmark had a measly two Valentine’s Day cards for same-sex couples — their online store’s “customize your own card” option had zero pictures of same-sex couples. Now that marriage is a nationwide reality, their current online customization store still requires you to upload your own photo if you want a same-sex couple. And while their Spectrum line of e-cards has 22 LGBT greetings, their current selection of “gay” Valentine’s Day cards mostly contains non-gendered cards that could be given to anyone, regardless of orientation.
Hallmark is an $3.8 billion-a-year company with over 10,000 cards released annually in over 30,000 stores. If they wanted to make more LGB cards, they could. But since only 10 percent of the population is lesbian, gay or bisexual (supposedly), printing cards for that small population subset doesn’t make a lot of business sense. Hallmark figures queers can just buy a non-gendered card and call it a (Valentine’s) day.
We point this out for two reasons: one, so you don’t leave this post thinking that Hallmark really gives a crap about same-sex couples (they want LGB customers, not cards), and two, to highlight other companies that do actually give a crap like Homomark and the many LGBT card creators at Redbubble and Zazzle.
Personally, we’re looking forward to a future with greeting cards for trans people, polyamorous couples and even BDSM relationships. They’ll be progressive and super bad-ass… but they definitely won’t come from Hallmark.
Anyway, here’s Hallmark’s 2016 lesbian ad…
… and the gay one…
… and their lesbian one from 2015 featuring an Asian-looking woman and her girlfriend.