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View Full Version : Blue "equals sign" bumper sticker?


Sassafras_Kid
12-22-2004, 05:26 PM
I've notice a few small bumper stickers on cars that are blue with a large yellow "equals sign" in the center.

Again a blue 4"x4" square with two yellow rectangles in the center.

Is it a local (Pennsylvania) thing or nation wide (USA)?

If it is from a secret society bent on world domination, I withdraw the question.

Crandolph
12-22-2004, 05:35 PM
I've notice a few small bumber stickers on cars that are blue with a large yellow "equals sign" in the center.

Again a blue 4"x4" square with two yellow rectangles in the center.

Is it a local (Pennsylvania) thing or nation wide (USA)?

If it is from a secret society bent on world domination, I withdraw the question.

That'd be from the Human Rights Campaign (http://hrc.org/index.html), a national gay rights organization. You probably get a sticker when you send a donation.

I'd be more worried about people with an inequality symbol as far as the world domination thing goes...

Johnny L.A.
12-22-2004, 05:40 PM
That'd be from the Human Rights Campaign (http://hrc.org/index.html), a national gay rights organization. You probably get a sticker when you send a donation.
Not that the sticker necessarily means the driver is gay. I know a hetero couple who have two stickers on their car. Just thought I'd clarify.

Polycarp
12-22-2004, 05:58 PM
If it is from a secret society bent on world domination, I withdraw the question.

Only in the minds of a few far-right extremists! (No joke, there are actually people out there convinced that there is a gay conspiracy to Take Over! :eek: )

Not that the sticker necessarily means the driver is gay. I know a hetero couple who have two stickers on their car. Just thought I'd clarify.

Barb and I had one on our last car, and have one to put on our current one (but misplaced it and haven't picked up another. Most gay bookstores have them, along with the (free) HRC bimonthly magazine indicating what contributions are being used to fund. There are several other couples at our church who have them, as well.

panache45
12-22-2004, 06:22 PM
I changed mine to a "greater than or equal" sign. But that's just me.

Sassafras_Kid
12-22-2004, 08:40 PM
Thanks Crandolph, the image on the link is what I've been seeing these past few years.

Rex Fenestrarum
12-22-2004, 10:17 PM
What's a "bumber"???

Ethilrist
12-22-2004, 10:37 PM
It's when you make a spelling error in your subject line and say, "bumber, dude..."

Civil Guy
12-22-2004, 10:44 PM
There is a major manufacturer of wood framing hardware (I won't mention the name here - it's irrelevant) who's trademark for a long time has been the "no(t) equals" symbol.

Architects and engineers often allow bidding contractors to propose using "equal" materials to those shown in the specifications - and this manufacturer apparently feels its products are superior to those of its competitors, not "equal."

FWIW.

SanibelMan
12-22-2004, 11:51 PM
Now that the question has been answered, I'd like to waste everyone's time with a frivolous anecdote about the abovementioned symbol.*

I have a hat with the symbol on it. I wore it one morning when I took my dad to get Lasik surgery. It was early and I hadn't taken a shower before we left, so I threw the cap on over my messy head of hair. This provoked two responses: One from an elderly woman in the waiting room who glared at me for half an hour, and one from a doctor, who came out from behind the reception desk and asked me if I knew where he could get one. :D

*Hey, at least I'm being honest.

Larry Mudd
12-23-2004, 04:52 AM
Are you entirely sure that the glare wasn't because of the pong? ;)

Kitchen Wench
12-23-2004, 06:19 AM
Now that the question has been answered, I'd like to waste everyone's time with a frivolous anecdote about the abovementioned symbol.*

I have a hat with the symbol on it. I wore it one morning when I took my dad to get Lasik surgery. It was early and I hadn't taken a shower before we left, so I threw the cap on over my messy head of hair. This provoked two responses: One from an elderly woman in the waiting room who glared at me for half an hour, and one from a doctor, who came out from behind the reception desk and asked me if I knew where he could get one. :D

*Hey, at least I'm being honest.


Maybe she was glaring at you because she thinks it's rude to wear hats indoors. :confused:

Misnomer
12-23-2004, 11:20 AM
Not that the sticker necessarily means the driver is gay. I know a hetero couple who have two stickers on their car. Just thought I'd clarify.
Seconded: I'm straight, and have an HRC polo shirt.

I didn't get a sticker, though. :(

emarkp
12-23-2004, 03:07 PM
I changed mine to a "greater than or equal" sign. But that's just me.So your statement is that it's okay for you to be a bigot but not others. It'd be nice if all bigots made their opinions so clear.

Crandolph
12-23-2004, 03:08 PM
Thanks Crandolph, the image on the link is what I've been seeing these past few years.

You're welcome. One of my friends slapped one on his car because he got it in the mail and liked the "equality" notion in general and the human rights thing sounded good. He's straight in a mostly gay neighborhood. Hilarity ensued when I told him that between the new apartment and the sticker he was gonna have a hard time meeting women if they see him parking :p ... he's keeping it on, being the solid liberal he is. See? Some of us heteros are willing to take one for the team.

chaoticbear
12-23-2004, 03:57 PM
Is there any way for a cash-strapped college student to get one of those stickers without donating to HRC?

Maus Magill
12-23-2004, 04:26 PM
That answered one question I had kicking around, but never remebered to ask.

The other one was, "What are those Black/Blue/Black stickers I see on cars?"

TJdude825
12-23-2004, 05:05 PM
Is there any way for a cash-strapped college student to get one of those stickers without donating to HRC?
... Most gay bookstores have them, along with the (free) HRC bimonthly magazine indicating what contributions are being used to fund. ...
Where you would find a "gay bookstore" (I've never heard of such a place, myself...) I have no idea.

levdrakon
12-23-2004, 07:27 PM
Is there any way for a cash-strapped college student to get one of those stickers without donating to HRC?

I'd imagine all you have to do is signup for a newsletter or something. Every time they get my name on some sort of mailing list, it seems I get a sticker in the mail, whether I donate or not. YMMV.

Larry Mudd
12-23-2004, 08:59 PM
Where you would find a "gay bookstore" (I've never heard of such a place, myself...) I have no idea.One of our local gay bookstores (http://littlesistersbookstore.com/) is pretty famous for its drawn out legal battle (http://cbc.ca/stories/2000/12/15/little_sisters001215) over Canada Customs' unreasonable interference with their imports.

SlyFrog
12-23-2004, 09:10 PM
What does the symbol mean or imply? Gay rights? If so, pick a damn symbol and stick with it. I've seen rainbows, pink triangles, yellow equals signs, etc.

I really have no idea what in the hell the symbols mean anymore, other than the driver is likely liberal and part of some minority.

I'm being serious; this is a marketing/branding issue; I'm all for symbols, but you have to pick one or two and make it stick, otherwise you just confuse the public.

Polycarp
12-23-2004, 09:25 PM
What does the symbol mean or imply? Gay rights? If so, pick a damn symbol and stick with it. I've seen rainbows, pink triangles, yellow equals signs, etc.

I really have no idea what in the hell the symbols mean anymore, other than the driver is likely liberal and part of some minority.

I'm being serious; this is a marketing/branding issue; I'm all for symbols, but you have to pick one or two and make it stick, otherwise you just confuse the public.

The equal sign means, not unsurprisingly, that one stands for equal rights, particularly with reference to GBLT people, since the HRC's purpose is as an advocacy group for them.

One of the Ask the Gay Guy threads went into some detail on the symbolism behind the rainbow. The pink triangle is a case of "reclaiming" -- it was the symbol of shame used by the Nazis to brand gay people, and I gather the feeling is that to wear it as a badge of pride is redeeming that former mark of degradation.

Larry Mudd
12-23-2004, 09:28 PM
The thing is, Slyfrog, folks tend not to actually be homogenous demographic blocks.

Some people might not like the pink triangle because of its horrible origin, and may consider using it to be identifying with victimhood.

Likewise, some people might not like the rainbow because it can be seen as, well, a little bit My Little Pony.

Before you can "pick one and stick with it" you have to something that works for nearly everyone.

Sure, there's an element of branding in there -- but marketers rarely "pick a logo and stick with it." Things evolve. If they didn't, my local hockey franchise would still have jerseys sporting a crude drawing of a skating, toque-wearing lumberjack (http://classicsportslogos.com/logos/vancouvercanucks_blue.gif).

Beltane
12-23-2004, 09:51 PM
See? Some of us heteros are willing to take one for the team.




Must...resist.... crass comments.... must resist..

Whew, made it.

-----------------------------------------------

The Black/blue/black is supposed to indicate a law enforcement officer, or his family. " The thin blue line."

jayjay
12-23-2004, 10:29 PM
As far as "pick a symbol and stick with it" goes, the HRC symbol is a symbol of that organization, not of the gay community in general. The organization, a completely self-governing entity, chose that symbol as a general trademark. It's not like we all voted to add yet another symbol in.

And you forgot about lambda...

Crandolph
12-24-2004, 02:57 AM
Must...resist.... crass comments.... must resist..

Hey, go for it! I come here partially for the crass comments.

Cartooniverse
12-24-2004, 07:58 AM
Not that the sticker necessarily means the driver is gay. I know a hetero couple who have two stickers on their car. Just thought I'd clarify.

Agreed. I had a sticker on the old van, and somewhere around I have a baseball cap embroidered with the same logo. I'm straight, but am a vigorous supporter of gay rights. Or, how does one say it appropriately? Equal rights for all?....

Cartooniverse

Chotii
12-24-2004, 05:26 PM
Are you entirely sure that the glare wasn't because of the pong? ;)

"Pong" means 'bad smell'. :) For the British vocabulary impaired.

SlyFrog
12-24-2004, 11:36 PM
The thing is, Slyfrog, folks tend not to actually be homogenous demographic blocks.

Some people might not like the pink triangle because of its horrible origin, and may consider using it to be identifying with victimhood.

Likewise, some people might not like the rainbow because it can be seen as, well, a little bit My Little Pony.

Before you can "pick one and stick with it" you have to something that works for nearly everyone.

Sure, there's an element of branding in there -- but marketers rarely "pick a logo and stick with it." Things evolve. If they didn't, my local hockey franchise would still have jerseys sporting a crude drawing of a skating, toque-wearing lumberjack (http://classicsportslogos.com/logos/vancouvercanucks_blue.gif).


All I'm saying is that I'm just starting to tune them out and ignore them, because I'm sick of trying to figure out what the flavor of the month is going to be. The reasons it is hard to do are fine, but many organizations have managed something, and it is diluting the message at this point to keep coming up with more symbols that seem to fundamentally mean "gay rights" or "please don't hate gays".

jayjay
12-24-2004, 11:44 PM
All I'm saying is that I'm just starting to tune them out and ignore them, because I'm sick of trying to figure out what the flavor of the month is going to be. The reasons it is hard to do are fine, but many organizations have managed something, and it is diluting the message at this point to keep coming up with more symbols that seem to fundamentally mean "gay rights" or "please don't hate gays".

A cross, a Bible, a steeple, the flames of Pentecost, hands in prayer, a dove.

A Mogen David, the Torah, the tablets of the Decalogue, a menorah.

An elephant, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan.

An eagle, Old Glory, the Constitution, a minuteman.

Symbols accrete. Some have staying power and some fall by the wayside. Asking the gay community to be some monolithic bloc and vote on ONE symbol is unrealistic. At various times, the lambda, the triangle, the rainbow have all been the dominant symbol, but the others never disappeared (though the lambda is quickly falling under the radar).

Crandolph
12-25-2004, 03:18 PM
In any event, that equals sign is just the symbol for the HRC, not for all gay rights in general. It says "I gave money to these people specifically." I'm sure there are other gay rights groups that may differ with the HRC on some points or strategies.

Likewise the WWF uses that panda logo on stickers for itself, implying the individual is an envornmentalist, but symbolizing the WWF directly. I don't hear anyone saying "The world, that ecology flag, the panda... why can't you people just pick one symbol and stick with it?"

TJdude825
12-25-2004, 07:26 PM
Besides, maybe a LITTLE bit of confusion is good as it causes you to look at the sticker and think about it and wonder what it might mean. I mean, it prompted this thread, right? Of course, a prevalent "I don't know what that is, so I'll ignore it" attitude could kill the effect.

caphis
12-25-2004, 09:40 PM
In any event, that equals sign is just the symbol for the HRC, not for all gay rights in general.

Mine doesn't say that. :-/

SlyFrog
12-26-2004, 02:55 PM
A cross, a Bible, a steeple, the flames of Pentecost, hands in prayer, a dove.

A Mogen David, the Torah, the tablets of the Decalogue, a menorah.

An elephant, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan.

An eagle, Old Glory, the Constitution, a minuteman.

Symbols accrete. Some have staying power and some fall by the wayside. Asking the gay community to be some monolithic bloc and vote on ONE symbol is unrealistic. At various times, the lambda, the triangle, the rainbow have all been the dominant symbol, but the others never disappeared (though the lambda is quickly falling under the radar).

Actually, for each of those, I'd almost guarantee that there is one symbol that by far exceeds the others in "recognition quality." Except for the last one, and I have no idea what you are trying to get at there unless it's some general sense of "Amercia."

And even then, the difference between those examples and yours is that the gay symbols, to a much greater degree, are part of an intentional effort to brand and create public awareness. Most of your examples occurred organically.

That's what's irritating me. Your examples are organic creations, and even though I believe there's an example in each that has far greater brand recognition than the others, they were not originally created to pop on bumper stickers and create public awareness. The gay rights symbols, on the other hand, are effectively part of a "marketing scheme." That implies that some actual marketing thought and effort should be put behind them.

Polycarp
12-26-2004, 03:03 PM
Are you seriously attempting to promote the canard that the promotion of equal rights for GBLT people is part of some sort of conspiracy, as that well-refuted 1988 book suggested?

samclem
12-26-2004, 03:20 PM
And even then, the difference between those examples and yours is that the gay symbols, to a much greater degree, are part of an intentional effort to brand and create public awareness. Most of your examples occurred organically.

That's what's irritating me. Your examples are organic creations, and even though I believe there's an example in each that has far greater brand recognition than the others, they were not originally created to pop on bumper stickers and create public awareness. The gay rights symbols, on the other hand, are effectively part of a "marketing scheme." That implies that some actual marketing thought and effort should be put behind them.

If you have a debate that you'd like to open, or a BBQ Pit thread, then please do so. But don't bring your opinions into GQ.

samclem GQ moderator

SlyFrog
12-26-2004, 10:28 PM
If you have a debate that you'd like to open, or a BBQ Pit thread, then please do so. But don't bring your opinions into GQ.

samclem GQ moderator

Let's see:

I changed mine to a "greater than or equal" sign. But that's just me.

Now that the question has been answered, I'd like to waste everyone's time with a frivolous anecdote about the abovementioned symbol.*

I have a hat with the symbol on it. I wore it one morning when I took my dad to get Lasik surgery. It was early and I hadn't taken a shower before we left, so I threw the cap on over my messy head of hair. This provoked two responses: One from an elderly woman in the waiting room who glared at me for half an hour, and one from a doctor, who came out from behind the reception desk and asked me if I knew where he could get one.

*Hey, at least I'm being honest.

Are you entirely sure that the glare wasn't because of the pong?

Maybe she was glaring at you because she thinks it's rude to wear hats indoors.

Seconded: I'm straight, and have an HRC polo shirt.

I didn't get a sticker, though.

So your statement is that it's okay for you to be a bigot but not others. It'd be nice if all bigots made their opinions so clear.

You're welcome. One of my friends slapped one on his car because he got it in the mail and liked the "equality" notion in general and the human rights thing sounded good. He's straight in a mostly gay neighborhood. Hilarity ensued when I told him that between the new apartment and the sticker he was gonna have a hard time meeting women if they see him parking ... he's keeping it on, being the solid liberal he is. See? Some of us heteros are willing to take one for the team.

Must...resist.... crass comments.... must resist..

Whew, made it.

Hey, go for it! I come here partially for the crass comments.

Agreed. I had a sticker on the old van, and somewhere around I have a baseball cap embroidered with the same logo. I'm straight, but am a vigorous supporter of gay rights. Or, how does one say it appropriately? Equal rights for all?....

So here's a General Question (I think) - no one else brought anything but questions in here, right? You had no agenda in targeting my (I thought) pretty good natured discussion? You make sure that you really pare down the discussion to Q&A only?

That's pretty insulting.

SlyFrog
12-26-2004, 10:41 PM
Oh yes, and I will state in advance that I should have put the last one in the Pit. I'd do it now, but obviously can't edit it. My apologies.

booklover
12-27-2004, 11:27 AM
That answered one question I had kicking around, but never remebered to ask.

The other one was, "What are those Black/Blue/Black stickers I see on cars?"


If, by Black/Blue/Black, you mean this (http://columbia.edu/cu/cv/aboutflag.html), it's the leather(SMBD) flag.

Maus Magill
12-27-2004, 04:51 PM
If, by Black/Blue/Black, you mean this (http://columbia.edu/cu/cv/aboutflag.html), it's the leather(SMBD) flag.

No, not that. Only three stripes, but the same shade of blue.

easy e
12-27-2004, 11:28 PM
Is there any way for a cash-strapped college student to get one of those stickers without donating to HRC?

I got mine in college. I can't remember if it came to me in the mail or if a rep from the HRC came knocking at my door. Because I dislike putting stickers on my car but like the concept of equal rights for all, it now lives on my Nalgene bottle. It shares space with a Feingold bumper sticker, one of those oval stickers with random letters inside (I picked it up on a spring break trip to Jackson Hole, WY), a University of Wisconsin seal (3 guesses as to where I went to school), a Bob Dylan sticker I picked up at one of his concerts, and a sticker from Glacier Brewing Company (mostly cause it looks cool and they're just starting up).

I bet from that list you can paint a pretty clear picture of my personal beliefs.

Cartooniverse
12-28-2004, 06:25 AM
Let's see:

So here's a General Question (I think) - no one else brought anything but questions in here, right? You had no agenda in targeting my (I thought) pretty good natured discussion? You make sure that you really pare down the discussion to Q&A only?

That's pretty insulting.

Holy moley. You included a bit of my quote in there? You have totally misunderstood what I was saying there, okay? I'm so sorry that you have but I don't frequent The Pit and besides this is a civil polite thread and I intend to keep it that way.

I said:


Agreed. I had a sticker on the old van, and somewhere around I have a baseball cap embroidered with the same logo. I'm straight, but am a vigorous supporter of gay rights. Or, how does one say it appropriately? Equal rights for all?....


I truly believe that the idea of gay rights means equal rights for all. The HRC has an agenda, is that what you were hinting at? My post didn't put forth a hidden agenda. I'm a supporter of g/l/b/t/ rights and therefore am a supporter of equal rights for all. Kind of thought that was clear. I'm sorry you didn't quite understand it. :)

Walloon
12-28-2004, 10:49 AM
one of those oval stickers with random letters inside. . .
I bet from that list you can paint a pretty clear picture of my personal beliefs. :confused: I give up what does an oval sticker with random letters inside indicate about your personal beliefs?

SlyFrog
12-28-2004, 11:07 AM
Holy moley. You included a bit of my quote in there? You have totally misunderstood what I was saying there, okay? I'm so sorry that you have but I don't frequent The Pit and besides this is a civil polite thread and I intend to keep it that way.

I said:



I truly believe that the idea of gay rights means equal rights for all. The HRC has an agenda, is that what you were hinting at? My post didn't put forth a hidden agenda. I'm a supporter of g/l/b/t/ rights and therefore am a supporter of equal rights for all. Kind of thought that was clear. I'm sorry you didn't quite understand it. :)


I understood everything. I think you misunderstood my point. I have no problem with what you said, in fact I don't care what you said (for the purposes of my point), other than that it was clearly not an answer to the original question and contained opinion.

Now I don't mind that you didn't answer the original question or that you gave an opinion. I was just pointing out that the crackdown on opinions by SamClem seemed to be suspiciously targetted (and insultingly done, as a much nicer tone could have been used), as plenty of other material that was not a straight answer to the OP, and also contained opinions, passed by prior to my post.

So in the end, no problem with you or what you said, just using it to make a point.

chaoticbear
12-28-2004, 12:58 PM
:confused: I give up what does an oval sticker with random letters inside indicate about your personal beliefs?

Either he's making fun of the "DMB" (Dave Matthews Band) ones, or he likes random letters. Or something else; those were just guesses.

easy e
12-28-2004, 07:26 PM
First off, I'm a "she." Second, I guess that one doesn't indicate anything about my beliefs (and does a Bob Dylan one, really?). I did go on the trip with a UW group, so it added to the collegiate feel. But itt was more the ensemble effect--I'm a liberal Wisconsin grad who likes travelling, beer, and 60s music.

easy e
12-28-2004, 07:30 PM
Oh, and the letters aren't really random--they're "JH" for Jackson Hole. Forgot that bit. Sorry for the confusion.

Polycarp
12-28-2004, 08:08 PM
... one of those oval stickers with random letters inside (I picked it up on a spring break trip to Jackson Hole, WY)... [and subsequent comments thereon]

Well, I feel better now, after spending my first three years in North Carolina wondering what foreign country used the abbreviation OBX! :o

chaoticbear
12-28-2004, 09:49 PM
First off, I'm a "she." Second, I guess that one doesn't indicate anything about my beliefs (and does a Bob Dylan one, really?). I did go on the trip with a UW group, so it added to the collegiate feel. But itt was more the ensemble effect--I'm a liberal Wisconsin grad who likes travelling, beer, and 60s music.

Sorry about the mix-up. After reading only one of your posts, (that I know of, your name didn't ring any bells before, although you've been here longer than I have) it was a tossup between he and she.

Daylon
12-29-2004, 12:35 AM
Thanks Crandolph! I've been wondering about that sign for YEARS... always thought it was some yachting club or Polo thing... now I know.

I know it's completely out of context, but for some reason I thought I'd throw this in. It's a quote from Terry Pratchett's latest book, "Going Postal" - and after reading all the posts, I thought it appropriate.

"The people who guard the rainbow don't like those who get in the way of the sun."

Good Pratchett, by the way, just finished it.

D.
That'd be from the Human Rights Campaign (http://hrc.org/index.html), a national gay rights organization. You probably get a sticker when you send a donation.

I'd be more worried about people with an inequality symbol as far as the world domination thing goes...

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