In recent years, the fight for LGBTQ+ representation has come a long way, and the city of Manchester is often seen as a flagship for the gay community.

2020 has welcomed Drag Queens onto Children’s TV shows, and openly transgender underwear models onto the catwalk. Transexual characters in films, lesbian couples in television shows, and queer representation in books, too. 

However there is still a long way to go, and many common items and products that may seem accessible to everyone often exclude the queer community. 

One product which incorporates little to no LGBTQ+ representation, however, is Valentine’s Day cards. For a day dedicated to love, whether it be for yourself, your family and friends, or your significant other, Valentine’s Day should not be limited to heterosexual couples. 

So this year, one group of creatives decided: no more. And so they made their own.

Manchester designer helps launch LGBT+ inclusive digital Valentine’s Day cards I Love Manchester

Introducing: #everyvalentinesday – the campaign created by creative masterminds Beth Grace and Hannah Cunningham to honour the love shared by same-sex couples, transgender SOs, and non-binary lovebirds.  

Hannah and Beth, of The Gate London, said: “The project began from a frustration surrounding the lack of representation in the greetings card industry, with Valentine’s Day being the catalyst.

“We struggled to make sense of the fact that on a day that champions love, a whole spectrum of love is being excluded.”

The campaign has been created in partnership with US-based LGBTQ+ charity GLAAD – a non-profit organisation which campaigns for fair and accurate coverage of the gay community across all platforms of media. Founded in 1985, GLAAD has been has been a driving force for change and accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ community. 

Each card has been designed with LGBTQ+ lovers in mind, with artists from all around the globe contributing their art in the name of love.

University of Manchester graduate, Lucie Knights, was one of the creatives involved in the project, with her piece inspired by a recent trip to Venice. Now working as assistant designer at fashion retail company ASOS, Lucie wanted to use her influence – and her art – to celebrate love in all its forms. 

Manchester designer helps launch LGBT+ inclusive digital Valentine’s Day cards I Love Manchester

“Classically, LGBTQ+ love has been underrepresented in popular culture – things seem to be improving now, but there’s work still to be done,” said Lucie.

“I think the project could have a really positive impact, and I wanted to contribute to that impact. It’s important that more people feel like Valentine’s celebrates their love.” 

So how do you get your hands on them? Well, as the project is in partnership with GLAAD – which is a charitable organisation – the cards aren’t *technically* for sale. Instead, you choose how much you want to donate to the cause, and in turn are granted access to all of the high-res designs that have been created. 

With so many different styles of art, contributed by different artists from all around the world, you’re guaranteed to find a design that resonates with you personally, so you can gift your loved one with a card that almost nobody else will have.  

And what’s even better: they’re all digital. So you can text them, email them, set it as your wallpaper – all without a single consequence on our beloved planet earth.

Sustainable love: now that’s the way forward.  

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