Scores of gay Australians have signed counter-petitions to oppose a Melbourne man’s call to rename iconic Australian ice-cream brand Golden Gaytime.
Gay Melbourne man Brian Mc launched the Change.org petition this month. He’s directing the petition to manufacturer Streets and parent company Unilever.
Mc described the name of the ice cream, created in 1959 when gay was primarily a term for joy, as “outdated” and “offensive” and a “double entendre” that should go.
“My sexual identity is owned by me, not a brand and that the outdated meaning [of happiness] no longer applies,” he wrote.
“Isn’t it time for this double entendre to end?
“I’m not calling for the product to be cancelled. I’m calling for the product to remove ‘Gay’ from its name.”
But the man’s petition has sparked several counter-petitions, urging the Golden Gaytime’s manufacturers to keep the name.
One petition, which has over 2,500 signatures, called the ice-cream “iconically Australian” and “deserves to be celebrated” with its name intact.
Another petitioner, Queenslander Dylan Carmichael, said the ice-cream is “a famed Aussie icon.”
“It was possibly the only positive representation of the word ‘gay’ in Australian culture for quite some time,” he wrote.
Carmichael also said there is a big difference between the Gaytime name and other recently renamed products, including Redskins, Chicos and Coon Cheese.
“They used a word that was considered a slur by the people the word described,” he wrote.
“‘Gay’ is not a slur. The notion that ‘gay’ should not be on a packet is one I would expect to hear come from a homophobe, not a gay Australian!
“Unilever, keep the Golden Gaytime name! Camp it up, and work to find new ways to support the queer community.”
Manufacturer Streets responds to Golden Gaytime petition
Ice-cream company Streets said in a statement the product dates back to 1959. At the time, the word “gay” did not apply to sexual orientation as it does today.
“The origin of the ‘Gaytime’ name was and remains related to having a joyous or happy time,” a spokesperson said.
“And [it’s] meant to capture the pleasure that comes with enjoying an ice cream.
“The ‘Gaytime’ name is not and never has intended to cause offence and this petition is the first that we have been made aware of.”
The Golden Gaytime name is unique to Australia. New Zealand instead names the ice cream Cookie Crumble.
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