How We Came up With the Rainbow Ducks Logo
We were in Buffalo New York, drinking a couple of cold Labatt's Blues and leaning against a mirrored wall in a badly lit corner of a now defunct lesbian bar called The Lavender Door.
It was a humid August night in 2001 -- just weeks before the September 11 tragedy -- and we were getting ready for our first ever Michigan Women’s Music Festival workshop.
A few months earlier we were handing out flyers (for what we were then calling our “When Love is not Enough -- Estate Planning for the LGBT Community” workshop) at Tampa Pride.
A woman stopped at our booth to read our flyers and ask a few questions while her partner stood waiting impatiently behind her.
As we were describing the workshop an expression of shock on the partner's face morphed into fear as she hurredly tugged at her girlfriend’s arm and said “This place is a bummer. Let’s get out of here.”
Later that same day, another woman half-jokingly suggested we change the name of our workshop to the "Death Seminar.”
That’s when we knew we needed a more playful, less frightening workshop title that would entice gay and lesbian partners and not scare them away.
Especially since these are the very people who need to take some sort of action to protect their loved ones because most of us live in states where there are no legal rights or benefits for our families.
As we huddled quietly in our darkened crook, trying not to be distracted by the rowdy dykes playing pool a couple of feet away, we remembered that we often asked our gay and lesbian friends whether they “had all their ducks in a row.” In other words, had they made arrangements for making sure their loved ones would be cared for in the event of an illness, injury or death?
A that moment we recognized that chatting about ducks is far less intimidating than talking about death. So we started playing around with the expression “ducks in a row”.
The more beers we drank the better the idea sounded. Before the night was through we drew a row of rainbow ducks on a damp napkin and underneath the ducks we wrote the words “Get All Your Ducks in a Row.”
At home the next morning, we opened the crumpled, ink stained napkin and saw that the first letter in “Get,” “All” and “Your” spelled out the word “GAY.” So, we shortened “Get All Your Ducks” to GAY DUCKS.
And even in the brightly lit, slightly hung-over morning after, we knew our cute little rainbow ducks were a great idea!