The most fabulous Gay Family Christmas greeting card ever

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Did you get a good look at that holiday card? Go ahead. Laugh. It’s funny because you undoubtedly know people who fulfill the stereotypes embodied in each of these commercial, Christmas-dressed characters. You may even be one yourself. From the blond Christmas elf-twink, to the drag Lady Gaga doing Mrs. Claus and all the other wonderful images on the card, we see a ton of fun. It makes you wonder, where did this cute but deliciously vulgar imagery come from?

Holiday card design and photo by Anthony JV Rufolo.

Holiday card design and photo by Anthony JV Rufolo.

While this wild greeting may be of our own imagination, it certainly doesn’t stray from other images and ideas presented in LGBT greeting cards (though, we had to do some digging to find transgendered versions.) You can find such cards online at sites such as  outgreetings.com or gogaycards.com.  Sandi Timberlake, founder of  card company   “A Little To The Left” (www.alittletotheleft.com ) said “My wish is to bring the gay community and the straight community into one community of people. We all have events in our lives that we want to celebrate with our friends and families, and our sexual preference should make no difference in these matters. I want to be able to send an anniversary card to my son and son-in-law that is more than an image of two turtles looking at each other and no sentiment inside. Why should the gay community be separated from the rest of society in even such a small element of life as this?”

Of course, many card companies offer products that you probably would not want to send to mother – and certainly not your grandmother, but your friends may certainly get a kick out of the more risqué offerings.

Holiday card take 5 by Anthony JV Rufolo.That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of cards with penguins wearing rainbow scarves, wintry teddy bears holding hands, and, well, more rainbows. All of it adds up to our unique gay identity in the consumer industry, though sometimes encouraging and projecting the very stereotypes about our community that are up for debate. 

Many cards reflect the fact that we are becoming more sexually liberated and choosing to partake of new experiences. Why should it matter if the Clauses decide to invite another into their bed for some S&M fun? If it spices up their two hundred year old marriage, then let’s be happy they are able to be so open and trusting with one another and the third party.

There’s also a unity of happiness and family camaraderie happening on our cover greeting card. We know already that stereotypes stem from some form of truth. But under each of the glossy, glitzy, cutesy facades of these stereotypes, there’s an entire person who’s yearning to possess some semblance of happiness in personal relationships, amongst our community and in the expression of our freedoms. Our gay families of choice may not always look like a Norman Rockwell picture. More often they look like the crew on our cover. But if they are built on love and the sharing of lives, they are real families none the less.

The waning of the year is the time to reflect on who we are, what we’ve accomplished for the year, the experiences we’ve tried, and the things we’re ready to put behind us going into the next year. In the last year, we’ve lived through the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” won the right to marry in the state of New York, and passed laws about bullying to protect young people here in our own home state of New Jersey. All of this is certainly a cause to believe that we can achieve more in the year 2012. Belief is a part of what the holiday season is about.

Among the miracles of this Christmas is that gay residents of New York, many of whom have been partnered for decades, can now legally seal their commitment. Among the miracles we hope for future Christmases is that one day we will be able to here in New Jersey as well. When that Christmas Future comes, all of  us – the twinks, cougays, lesbians, drag queens, et al, will have the right and freedom to find another person that makes us happy, build our own relationship and family, and be able to dress our children up as snowmen with rainbow scarves on for our family holiday greeting card. These are all among the miracles of Christmas.

The primary miracle of the holiday season is Hope. In our self-aware humor, our happiness, our liberation, and our community, we find hope. In the words of Harvey Milk, “I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you gotta give ‘em hope,”  even if hope is in a greeting card that makes your yuletide a little more gay.

 

Did you get a good look at that holiday card? Go ahead. Laugh. It’s funny because you undoubtedly know people who fulfill the stereotypes embodied in each of these commercial, Christmas-dressed characters. You may even be one yourself. From the blond Christmas elf-twink, to the drag Lady Gaga doing Mrs. Claus and all the other wonderful images on the card, we see a ton of fun. It makes you wonder, where did this cute but deliciously vulgar imagery come from?