The husband and I adore Big Gay Ice Cream in New York. We always go to the Greenwich Village location, and our favorite treat is the Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate sauce). Big Gay Ice Cream is friendly, funky, and clearly open to everyone. We have recommended it to gay and straight friends alike.
That’s why I was a little shocked that one of Big Gay Ice Cream’s neighbors, Gallo Nero on Grove Street, is now billing itself as the home of “big straight ice cream.”
Some might interpret this as a playful joke, but it’s not. It’s just offensive. Gays have had to fight for every ounce of dignity and respect we’ve received over the past 40 years. It wasn’t long ago that it would be unthinkable to open a store with “gay” in the name. Big Gay Ice Cream is a reminder of how far we’ve come, and it gives us the energy (literally and figuratively) we need to continue the struggle.
Consider this: How would you react if an African-American opened a restaurant, and the place next door started offering “white” food? See, it’s clearly a slap in the face. It’s an example of the majority — the people of privilege — believing they’re being slighted when any else gains a victory.