Australia’s popular Golden Gaytime ice-cream is the latest product to come under fire for its “offensive” name, with an Australian man starting a petition to rename the product.
The petition was set up in February this year by a man known only as Brian MC, and has since recorded about 1000 signatures.
Brian started the petition against Streets and its parent company Unilever in an attempt to get the word ‘gay’ removed from the name due to its “outdated” definition, saying on the petition that his sexual identity belonged to him and not a brand.
“In 2021, gay’s meaning is primarily related to sexuality,” he said. “I have needed to fight to be a gay man, overcoming many things in my life. I am a proud gay man. Packaging and products are not.
“As a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, I believe my sexual identity is owned by me, not a brand, and that the outdated meaning no longer applies. Isn’t it time for this double entendre to end?”
The push to change the ice-cream’s name follows several other product rebrands recently, including Allen’s Redskins, which recently became Red Ripper, and Allen’s Chicos, which became Cheekies. In July this year, Coon cheese will officially become Cheer cheese, after responding to racism claims.
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Brain said that it was not his “place to tell Streets what to call their re-branded product,” but they should receive the same treatment as Redskins, Coon cheese and Chicos.
“Under the law, they are seen as the same. Discrimination means being treated unfairly or not as well as others because of a protected characteristic, like age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race or disability,” he said.
“Just to be a gay man, even in 2021, is still hard… [we] still have a long way to go to be fully accepted as equals, but if we see an area in life that’s not equal, and we are able to change it for the better, why wouldn’t we speak up?”
Brian also called out the company for a historic lack of support for the LGBTQIA+ community and associated events, posing the question: “Why would you love Golden Gaytime when they don’t love you back?”
Commenting on the change.org petition, Rodney Hoffman said, “Gay and gaytime no longer mean what it used to. Now gay is either ‘I’m gay’ and not as in happy, or ‘that’s so gay’, which is an insult. But either way this ice-cream should be called happytime, as that is what they mean to say. Having a gay time in 2021 is being a homosexual, and we need to claim that for ourselves.”
In response to the petition, Streets Consumer Engagement Centre issued Brian with a statement saying: “The first Streets Gaytime was released in Australia during 1959 when the word ‘gay’ had not yet been applied to gender preference. The origin of the ‘Gaytime’ name was related to having a joyous or happy time and was meant to capture the pleasure that comes with enjoying an ice-cream.
“Following the rise of a visible LGBTQ+ community in Australia during the 1980s, rather than rename the ice-cream, Streets embraced the connection by adopting the slogan, ‘It’s so hard to have a Gaytime on your own.’ Boxes of the ice-creams sold in supermarkets still feature the words ‘4 delicious chances to have a gay time.”
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