(Slate) -- I was shopping in a chain drugstore last weekend, searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day card for my wife and for Grandma, when I came across a most curious category: “Love: Man to Man.” I was shocked and excited and confused all at the same time.
It was jarring and pleasing to see same-sex love recognized in a franchise pharmacy. I recognize that LGBTQ inclusion in advertising and marketing is something that’s happening more and more these days, but the attention still feels new and foreign after a lifetime of invisibility. How many of us spent a good amount of media consumption transposing the genders in horoscopes or reading too far into moments that aren’t LGBTQ but feel like they could or should be? So many of us are accustomed to not having a place at the table, let alone an opportunity to be a part of the conversation, that it’s pure culture shock to see steps being taken to remedy that.
Yes, we have come an incredibly long way from the time when Hallmark or Duane Reade didn’t consider producing or selling same-sex Valentine’s Day cards. For that, I am grateful. “Exposure at all costs” tends to be my mantra as an advocate. I’ll take the one mediocre gay-male card over no same-sex cards at all.
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