Can I get personalized pencils with the word "Queer" on them?
March 25, 2013 8:06 PM   Subscribe

I am directing a local LGBTQ history project and think it would be fun to get personalized pencils (to take into the archives) for the participants. But nobody will print pencils with the word "Queer" on them! Or the word "Gay/Lesbian." Or anything that could be construed as a reference whatsoever. Do you know of a personalized-pencil provider that would be willing to print LGBTQ pencils?
posted by besonders to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've gotten a lot of this sort of stuff at Oriental Trading Company. They let me indicate that I wanted to write QUEER on my pencils, and I didn't get any sort of warning telling me that I couldn't. (Of course, I didn't actually buy the pencils, so perhaps I would have hit a snag later). They also have pretty good customer service, so maybe call or LiveChat and ask them about your program plans.
posted by decathecting at 8:21 PM on March 25, 2013

I just asked about having pencils with the word "Queer" on them at this company's LiveChat. I'm not sure I am chatting with a real person. I just found them via Google.

...And the possible-auto-generated chat told me "To tell you honestly, this is the first time that I had encountered such concern. " and said to call the customer service dept during business hours. I just thought the rainbow pencils were pretty, so it seemed worth a try. Sorry it wasn't much help.
posted by maryr at 8:22 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Who are you contacting that is refusing this??? Considering the amount of really offensive crap that is produced I have a hard time believing that placing like perilous and 4imprint would refuse this.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:28 PM on March 25, 2013 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I would consider getting in touch with an actual person at the companies that apparently rejected you. It sounds like maybe online vendors have a database of red-flag words that are automatically blocked for orders, with varying degrees of controversy. If you can get a hold of a sales rep and explain to them the what you're trying to do they might be able to correct it for you.
posted by threeants at 8:36 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Well, as luck would have it, I just happened to stumble on the Carbon Crusader Etsy shop yesterday. I think they'd do it.
posted by looli at 8:42 PM on March 25, 2013 [4 favorites]

A buddy of mine got "FUCK [name of conservative cause he dislikes]" printed on a set of nice ink pens. He used someone on Alibaba, got 1000 pc for under US$200.

I don't see what the problem would be with "QUEER" many companies did you try? I just looked and there are 1782 companies dealing in "custom pencils" on Alibaba. Alternatively, Alibaba Express is used for small quantities and samples. I'm sure someone out there will be glad to make a sale.

Good luck!
posted by 99percentfake at 9:41 PM on March 25, 2013

What's the biggest Pride festival near you? If you're interested in buying locally, maybe try calling up the Pride organizers in, say, your state/province capital (or the next state over, maybe?? I can't believe people are refusing to print this for you, honestly) and asking where they get their advertising printed.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:21 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! I frankly did not try all that many places, as this is a super-small order which I'm kind of doing on a whim--after the first two times I was rejected I thought "Screw it, I don't feel like putting any more time into this!"--but Carbon Crusader looks perfect and I've just placed an order with them.
posted by besonders at 7:29 AM on March 26, 2013

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