A petition has cropped up on Change.org calling for Australia’s beloved Golden Gaytime to be renamed because it’s supposedly offensive to gay people. As a Gay™, I am here to no-so-humbly disagree with this outrageous slight on a treasured Aussie institution.
The petition, which is bound to get the straights all up in arms, has roughly 1,000 measly signatures. And unfortunately, it’s already received national attention.
We ran an extremely unscientific strawpoll of all the gays in the PEDESTRIAN.TV office and the response was unanimous: we love the Golden Gaytime and its golden gay name.
“The gays WANT it to be called Golden Gaytime,” one of my colleagues passionately cried out.
Another colleague pointed out how ridiculous this debate over a non-issue really is.
“This is really dumb and having a gay ice cream is actually integral to the queer experience!!!!” he said.
“Visibility in a yummy caramel and biscuit ice cream matters!!!!”
Others agreed, with one noting that devouring a Golden Gaytime is “a ritual deeply embedded in contemporary Aussie culture.”
“Streets should not be penalised for creating a forward thinking ice cream brand,” she said.
“The name should not be changed, it should be celebrated (with a big, golden, gay-themed party).”
Finally one colleague pointed out why we can’t let the haters win this battle: “Everyone loves a Golden Gaytime, even the homophobes – so I take some pleasure in them enjoying something that refers to gaytimes.”
Now, TO BE CLEAR, there are far more than just five gays in our office. You’re likely to encounter group of us bigger than that anytime you get in the elevator.
So my five faithful colleagues quoted above are merely those who were polite enough to give me (and this ridiculous petition) the time of day.
The queer chorus on Twitter rang equally loud. Renaming the Golden Gaytime would be a most heinous act of homophobia, we all cried.
frankly the most homophobic thing golden gaytime could do is change the name
— jackson langford (@jacksonlangford) March 23, 2021
i am going to become the joker. do not touch the golden gaytime name https://t.co/mrf6dsswID
— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) March 23, 2021
what call? no gay is asking for this. in fact, every gay is asking for a golden gaytime https://t.co/CmsJuJAclp
— ruby innes (@rubyinnes) March 24, 2021
Nup, there is absolutely no reason to change the name of Golden Gaytime given it’s entirely inoffensive. This isn’t a Coon cheese situation. @streetsicecream and @unilever need to not pander to this nonsense: https://t.co/UsfLQWeCEl @newscomauHQ
— Benedict Brook (@BenedictBrook) March 24, 2021
Im completely fine with Golden Gaytime brand, find this a weird push if even the petition proponent says he hasn’t been harmed by it.https://t.co/uTSdKsnz3C
— Paul Karp (@Paul_Karp) March 23, 2021
The petition even conflates the name Golden Gaytime with a bunch of racist product names that’ve been changed in recent months, such as Redskins, Chicos and, perhaps most infuriatingly for racists, Coon Cheese.
Some sections of the petition read like a straight shit-stirrer trying to create outrage where there is none. While it’s unlikely many gay people will change their minds after reading the position, plenty of straight people are likely to become overly defensive about an ice cream, as they do with pretty much everything else.
If the petition really was written by a gay person, as other sections do imply, it seems like a case of one person getting caught up in a whirlpool of commercial signifiers and losing bearing on the real world.
The good news is that, according to the dude who started the petition, Streets has already issued a perfect response.
“The first Streets Gaytime was released in Australia during 1959 when the word ‘gay’ had not yet been applied to gender preference,” a spokesperson apparently told him in an email earlier in March.
“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’.”
So there you have it, both Streets and the gays have spoken: give us our Gaytimes.