Indonesia’s Homophobes Aren’t Happy About This Rainbow-Colored Ice Cream
Homophobes in the Asian island-nation of Indonesia have threatened a boycott against the trans-national consumer goods company Unilever after learning of a rainbow-colored ice cream treat called Golden Gaytime.
Produced by Unilever’s ice cream brand, Well’s, the Golden Gaytime ice cream bar has a toffee and vanilla-flavored center dipped in chocolate and covered in cookie pieces with rainbow-colored bands resembling the Pride flag. But the homophobic calls for a Unilever boycott overlook a simple fact: Golden Gaytime isn’t even sold in Indonesia.
In fact, the rainbow-colored treat isn’t available in most places around the world. According to writer Josh Jackman, “The special version of the sweet treat was made in March 2017 by Jesse James McElroy, for Sydney Mardi Gras in Australia, and has never been released widely.”
Nevertheless, some homophobic Indonesians on Facebook have been calling for a Unilever boycott. One such comment reads:
Let’s boycott the ice-cream. This is definitely poisoning Indonesian youth. What happens if our children consume this ice cream? … So remember there’s a “Rainbow Rainbow.” It’s also a veiled campaign of LGBT people who often use rainbow symbols…. This is clearly the LGBT campaign who argued if LGBT is normal, not disease, but it’s God’s creation Let’s fight LGBT to its roots because LGBT is more dangerous than drugs, corruption, let alone terrorism.
In response, Unilever has released a statement saying that the rainbow-colored ice cream has never been sold in Indonesia. The statement also says, “Unilever has been in Indonesia for 84 years and we have great respect for values and religious and cultural norms that apply in Indonesia and will not launch a product, communication, promotional or contrary to these norms.”
These “norms” include a largely conservative Muslim ruling class whose policies have resulted in an anti-LGBTQ police force, a proposed law to ban all LGBTQ TV content and (in one region) the public caning of homosexuals.
An estimated 93% of Indonesians oppose homosexuality; the Indonesian Psychiatrists Association classifies LGBTQ identity as a mental disorder; the country’s ministers consider LGBTQ people a security risk and the country has started passing laws forbidding businesses from hiring LGBTQ people and forcing LGBTQ people into so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy.
Despite this, in December 2017, the country’s high court refused to criminalize gay sex. Although homosexuality is technically legal in the country, life for LGBTQ people there is anything but friendly. Perhaps the homophobes should just relax and enjoy some ice cream.
Featured image by fbxx via iStock