NPR has a strange way of celebrating Valentine's Day. It's trying to "help" fans with corporate Valentines from NPR including this beauty: "You might have a face for radio, but I love you just the same."
Sounds like a one-way ticket to sleeping on the couch. It's less surprising that NPR would use Valentine's Day as another day to celebrate identity politics and social liberalism with a Monday Morning Edition story on "Greeting cards that celebrate a rainbow of loves." NPR producer Selena Simmons-Duffin celebrated Valentine's Day cards for the "lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community," and a card company called "A Little to the Left."
Sandi Timberlake wanted greeting cards for her gay son:
It's a small operation; Timberlake does everything from directing the photo shoots to making sales calls. For now, she sells her cards online and in 26 stores around the country. But she gets excited when she thinks about all of the LGBT people and the friends and family in their lives who might want these cards: "My potential market could be anywhere from 60 to 90 million people, or more!"
For the mass market, NPR obviously used this occasion to shove Hallmark toward "mainstreaming" the LGBT line of valentines:
Greeting card giant Hallmark has lines of cards for other demographics, such as the Mahogany line for African-Americans and Sinceramente for Spanish speakers. Although Hallmark doesn't offer an LGBT line now, senior writer Andre du Broc says he thinks it will happen.
"We've taken baby steps so far," he says. He points to a few "coming out" designs and four same-sex union cards that were released when California legalized marriage for same-sex couples in 2008.
"They're performing on par with our regular wedding cards," he says. "So we're validated there that people do want these."
Du Broc, who has served as chairman of Hallmark's LGBT employee resource group, says the creative will from writers to make an LGBT line exists. He says what's holding the company back is figuring out how to get the cards in front of the right people. He thinks Hallmark is being prudent in holding off until it can figure out how to do it right...
"Oftentimes, the people that want to support [LGBT people] don't have the words to say the right thing, or are worried that they won't say the right thing," he says. "Well, we could certainly help them with that."
But du Broc gets stuck on LGBT Valentine's Day cards. "It's a little awkward," he says. "How do you say, 'I love you, my partner who is a boy and I am a boy also.' " It's about love, he says, and there's no difference between love between gay people and love between straight people.
UPDATE: NPR wasn't the only liberal outlet to highlight LGBT greeting card makers: The Washington Post's free commuter tabloid Express promoted the Pride Greetings line on Monday.
[Hat tip: Still Got Skills]