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Canadian Store Owner Pulls ’Gay Away’ Gag Candy

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday Dec 13, 2013

The owner of a Canadian dollar store came under fire after selling "Gay Away: The Original Gay Pill," a novelty candy purported to "cure gayness."

According to Canada's Globe and Mail, the owner of Deals for Dollars in Gimli, Manitoba, Winnipeg, said that they pulled the product from the shelves on Dec. 11, after the first complaints.

They said that the novelty product was ordered by a supply rep for the store, and that staff had removed the item and others from the same rep from the stores' shelves.

"We usually order but what happened this time is we let the rep order," said sales clerk Leann, who declined to give her last name. "We hadn't even known it was there."

The Huffington Post added the slogans on the pink package claim that the product "cures gayness" and "stops the craving for behaving." Inside the packaging is a blister pack with 10 pieces of candy.

Gimli resident Mona Johnston said that the product was offensive and "absolutely not right. I'm embarrassed, actually, to tell the truth, that you guys found this in our community... I don't support this in any way, shape or form."

According to Canada's Sun News, the package notes that the pills are "penis flavored," although that designation would appear antithetical to its purported purposes, unless the novelty product was not intended for gay men.

They added that the novelty candy, marketed by the Toronto company Laughrat, shares shelf space with other novelty pills like Farter's Choice ("End of the Big Stink"), Small Cox and Extra Strength Damitol ("When you've had enough.")

HuffPost reports that store manager Rachelle Mistelbacher apologized and told CBC News that it was an oversight and "an honest mistake."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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