Thursday, November 29, 2012

Queer Dollars - A Salvation Army Protest Action

I was at my local Fred Meyer the other evening, and passed a Salvation Army bell-ringer.  I really wanted to yell at him (cuz I'm cranky like that) but realized it wouldn't do any good or have much impact.  I'm also not really the kind of person to stop and have a political discussion with an ignorant but possibly well-meaning person (see above re: prone to crankiness).

So I next had the thought that for every bell-ringer I see this holiday season, I'd donate a certain amount to a local organization that serves homeless and/or low-income folks that doesn't discriminate.  And that I'd let Salvation Army know that I was doing so.  In my own region, I can donate to places like Stonewall Youth, ISIS House, Lambert House, Teen Feed, and Queer Youth Space Seattle, to name a few.

Which led to the creation of these queer dollars to put in the kettle instead (hat to to Jess!).  This is not a new idea - other folks have done similar things in the past.  I particularly wanted to showcase that this is queer money that the SA is losing out on, and make sure they knew about organizations that are actually getting it right and therefore receiving my donation.  Because it's important to me that poor and homeless folks should not have to be discriminated against or proselytized to in order to get some help or some basic necessities of life.

(An image made to resemble a $3 US dollar bill; it features an image of Audre Lorde in the middle, a gay pride flag on the left, and a trans* pride flag on the right.  The text reads "when the Salvation Army ends its policy of religious bigotry against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, then, and only then, will this be a real dollar bill. This bill is not legal tender"

(A plain text box with the words "Instead of donating to the Salvation Army, I am donating to the following organization, which serves and does not discriminate against LGBTQ individuals:")

I decided to use an image of Audre Lorde because a) she's AUDRE LORDE, and b) I like the punniness of the last name in the context of a protest against the Salvation Army.

For best results, print out on a color printer (though b&w will be fine, too).  It's two pages, and the pdfs are formatted so that you can print on front and back.  Or you could just print the front side and write your own message on the back.

Enjoy, print/copy, and distribute liberally!
And don't forget to donate to a deserving local org - feel free to share who you're donating to and where they are in the comments!

For more on the Salvation Army and this issue:

(I do not own any of these images or words.  I borrowed an image of a 3-dollar bill from the interwebs, found here:  If it's your creation and you feel I have stolen your art, please contact me and I will either include your name as a credit on the bill or use different images.)

Contact me:

Update:  An intrepid friend has found the original creator of the 3 dollar bill and a few others (like a Canadian version)!  Clearly many of us are thinking along the same lines.


  1. While I appreciate the sentiment, it appears that you photocopied a REAL dollar bill and made changes to it. Printing that out and putting it into a kettle as a donation is manufacturing counterfeit money and using it as real money. Meaning: You *could* be in a lot of trouble if you did this.

    Play it safe and just print out your "page 2" and use that for both sides, then fold up and slip into the kettle. Nobody wants to see you or anyone get arrested!

  2. I appreciate the concern. However, I did not photocopy anything - the basic 3 dollar bill image was found via Google. And it clearly states that it is not a form of legal tender. So I feel pretty secure about it personally.

    Certainly folks should do whatever feels right and safest for them, however!