My pal Joe called me up one day. It was early winter of 2004.

“Got a minute?” he began. “Something’s been bugging me. You know that referendum coming up?”

I knew immediately what he was talking about.

“I feel like a second-class citizen,” he said. “I cannot believe we’re still not on the ballot.”

“Well,” I said, “let’s do something about it.”

“Good. That’s why I’m calling. I’d like to make a sticker, or t-shirt or something, that starts a conversation… you know, to let folks know how we’re being treated.”

“Go on…”

“It should be big — eye-catching — but friendly. Like you want to approach us. Because we’re not second class citizens.”

“I’m with you, Joe. What should it say?”

“It should start with a big, emphatic ‘Hi!’”

Cooper Black Italic popped into my head. “I like it. Ok…and then?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I’m a second class citizen? I’m loved by a second class citizen? What do you think?”

“It should say we’re gay. And by all means it should be ultra-friendly.”

“Love it. We need this to happen. Let’s get these conversations started.”

Thousands of free buttons were distributed at rallies and events throughout 2004. I’m happy our work made it to the cover of the Boston Globe