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Is This Gay Valentine’s Day Card Homophobic?

Hallmark might be holding out on targeting the gay greeting card market, but a one Susanne Fox, a heterosexual designer living in Brooklyn, says she’s got your ticket. “A lesbian friend of mine who works with a Broadway production company mentioned that the boys at work were upset about a lack of man-to-man Valentine’s Day cards,” she says. So she came up with this one: “When you asked to borrow a fag I told you, Come and Get Me. Glad to be your Valentine.” Uh.

Read Kevin points us to this Patch story about Fox’s card business, most of which takes place on the crafts site Etsy.com. “I brainstormed a few ideas with my friend and the rest was easy.” Easy enough to offend at least one person who has a problem with a hetero making homos a punchline.

Kevin reached out to Etsy, which responded: “We respect that our members come from all walks of life and may hold different beliefs. What is offensive to one may be a personal or artistic statement to the creator.” Which sounds like a corporate crapshoot answer, but it’s one I can see plenty of other companies standing behind — just like that white guy who had no problem selling racist Sambo soaps, because hey, what is offensive to one may be an artistic statement to another.

On:           Feb 17, 2011
Tagged: , ,
    • 4real

      Is it homophobic? Uh, no. Not in this context. “Fag” coming from a gay man is like calling someone “Mary.” And even if it were meant to be offensive, what homophobe would willingly call themselves gay. Logic gap?

      Feb 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David

      Totally thought it was a pick up line involving cigarettes

      Feb 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • VictorG

      Can’t wait to see her line Stupid Cunt cards.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin

      I would hate to be accused of leaving stuff out and they got back to me quickly so here is the full response. I replied asking what their policy is on hate speech and have not yet received a response.

      Hi Kevin,

      This is Adam Brown, I’m the press manager at Etsy. Thank you for getting in touch. I’m sorry to see that something in our marketplace was upsetting to you.

      Etsy is a diverse global marketplace and community, with thousands of independent shops. We respect that our members come from all walks of life and may hold different beliefs. What is offensive to one may be a personal or artistic statement to the creator. Etsy does not pre-screen users or the content or information provided by users. User-generated content reflects only the opinions and perspectives of the person who posted it.

      I will send a link to these cards to our Customer Support Team, so that they can review them and determine whether the cards are in compliance with Etsy’s rules.

      Thanks again for bringing this to my attention. If you have any other Etsy-related questions in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Best Wishes,

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian

      These cards are pathetic. I can’t imagine giving one to someone I hate much less my husband.

      Everyone involved ought to be ashamed of themselves.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LongIslandLolita

      Yes, it’s offensive. Fag is an ugly slur and I especially don’t appreciate it coming from a straight woman (no matter how highly she thinks of her intentions).

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt

      I thought it was cute.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike

      I liked the card. I thought it was cute. Call me self-hating and not a “good gay” or whatever, but that’s my opinion.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ingela

      Sorry, lady, but post-ironic hipsterdom doesn’t buy you a ticket to appropriate that word any more than it does the n-word. (Which I would pay good money to see you try.) Stay in your own sandbox!

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kitty

      That word should never be used. Also what kind of love is something you “borrow”. You just shouldn’t write about something you obviously don’t understand.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR

      More mountains being made out of molehills, I see.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris

      @DR: Hey, it’s an opportunity to get OUTRAGED! Don’t expect Queerty or the self-righteous gay patrol to pass that up!

      Feb 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks

      Anyone who gets outraged about this takes life WAY too seriously.

      On the other hand, it wasn’t funny.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seriously?

      if you’re offended by this then you seriously need to get out more. there are plenty of actually homophobic things going on to get worked up about — why waste time and alienate someone who’s obviously an ally trying to fill an empty niche for the gay community?

      Feb 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cigarcat

      with all the horrific suicides a few months ago due to bullying/gay bullying this is disgusting. Is the fug woman in that barftastic hat the creator? she is so effing ugly I am no longer gay or straight…. thanks a bunch FUGS.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981

      IDK how to feel about this. I don’t think any harm was meant, but unintentional homophobic ignorance is almost worse than the outright hate…so, while I don’t think attacking is necessary, I do think she needs to be educated on the fact that ‘fag’ coming from a straight person(or anyone really), be they bigot or ally, is offensive, and, furthermore perpetuates stereotypes that we really ought to be trying to get away from. So, while I think she was trying to be nice(maybe? idk, she needs to realize the potential to offend, and why, with something like this.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wyatt


      /end conversation.

      Now stop getting so uptight about things that don’t matter. Brits use “fag” all the time to say “cigarettes” still, and it works within the context of card.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RJ

      @Wyatt: agreed. people obviously don’t understand puns…

      Feb 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rachel Paula

      An ugly awful card. I agree with Brian No. 5. Everyone involved ought to be ashamed of themselves.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris

      Oh, YEAH…. because this card will trigger TEEN SUICIDES. Awesome.

      Seriously. Homophobia? Perpetuating stereotype? It’s a cute little card, making a silly pun about British English, obviously meant to be given by a gay man.

      Please just GET OVER YOURSELVES. You people are all so fucking fragile, I can hardly believe it. How do you even leave the house? Maybe you just don’t, I guess…

      Feb 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake the libertarian

      If you fags don’t get a sense of humor, you’ll never find husbands…

      Feb 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C

      Susanne Fox is special like yellow buses are special.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thematics

      Even if in British English “fag” means a cigarette, you still don’t ask to ‘borrow’ one, you ask to ‘have’ one, because the cigarette, presumably, will not be given back!
      Humour FAIL.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~R~

      @thematics: When I was a smoker, a while back, people would always ask to “borrow” a cigarette from me. Usually because there was the intent of giving one back at a later date, of course. As for this card, I can see how it could be offensive to the american crowd but I don’t think we are the targetted audience for this card as “fag” is not initially intended the way “WE” are making it. Lighten up. It is doubtful we will see this card in the US. We don’t refer to cigs as fags, after all.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thematics

      You’re right — it’s been so long since I’ve smoked that I forgot that one can lend or borrow a cigarette! (or ‘bum’ one, for that matter).
      I found the card unfunny, but not offensive per se.

      The phrase ‘Wanna share a fag?’ reminds me of school. Those were the days, lol.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Coffee&Chicory

      fucking hipsters

      Feb 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul in Canada

      Boring and unimaginative.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones

      It’s not really that funny (but then most cards on the shelf aren’t very funny to me, but other people might like them…)

      It’s also not very offensive… Honestly, there are tons of actually offensive things out there, why on earth would you pick a Valentine’s Day card that is actually intended to be given by gay people? It’s not very funny, but I highly doubt the intent was to offend…

      Feb 17, 2011 at 7:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nytom

      that’s not funny. it’s awful when anyone uses that word and unacceptable when gay people use that word, if someone gave me this card I’d be pretty unhappy with them.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redball


      Ha! And even better would’ve been:

      Can I bum a fag?

      But, sadly, none of these are incredibly witty or hilarious. Too bad, Ms. Cardmaker.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redball

      @thematics: Oh I see you mentioned “bum” in your other comment! Double-entendre fun…oy vey.

      Feb 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thematics

      LOL: so many of the expressions I used to say still make me laugh.

      The lady making the cards needs a LGB focus group to review her next batch of cards…..

      Feb 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sparky

      It is obvious from the picture of her that she is very impressed with herself. I am less impressed. She’s not gay. She hasn’t been through the struggles. All she has done is dress really badly and move to NYC and fancied herself a ‘creative type’. That’s not enough to earn you admission into the club. Sorry, but this lady should gently poke fun at privledged, bored, white housewives with too much time on their. That is the only group she has paid her dues in

      Feb 18, 2011 at 4:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kelehe

      The message is not humorous, not cute, not romantic, not poetic, it’s just lame. The pun is unimaginative and a lame attempt at being provocative. If this was the last card on the shelf, it would stay there.

      Feb 18, 2011 at 8:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony9691

      I think the card is absolutely fine. The only people that may find this offensive are those who love to play the victim. Oh no… another thing for me to bitch about.

      Feb 18, 2011 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tartuffe

      silly hipsters

      Feb 18, 2011 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nick

      oh come on, it’s funny & cute

      Feb 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair

      I’m sorry. Straights don’t use that word. Ever. Period. It’s disrespectful, if not worse. And the card was so dumb, it looks like she was looking for an excuse to use it. Homophobia just oozes out of these rubes nonstop.

      Feb 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran

      Loved the “fag” Valentine day card. But Etsy really outdid themselves with the hilarious “niggah, why ain’t you celebrating Kwaanza?” card and its saucy “Happy Passover, from one kosher kike to another” card.

      Feb 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris

      Wait, gang, I have written a card that you’re all SURE to love! On the outside it will say, “I am a VICTIM of your charms.” On the inside: “The way I love you OFFENDS me.”

      Isn’t that great? It caters to everything you love about being gay!

      Feb 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rainbow Moments

      Rainbow Moments is a great Card Store that Caters exclusively to the LGBTQ Community. The cards are tasteful and aren’t offensive. And even if you think that they are you are free to contact the artist and voice your opinions. If you have any special requests for custom greeting cards for your loved one, they will design a greeting card just for you at NO COST!
      Great designs are added every month!

      It’s easy, affordable and great quality paper greeting cards that can be mailed to you or your recipient.

      Check them out at this link – http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/rainbowmoments

      Jan 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Julie

      @cigarcat: So your response to what could be just a misguided attempt at humor is body shaming and misogyny? You have a lot of hate in your heart.

      Feb 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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