Only in the Slope: store offers lesbians 10 percent off

Boing Boing owner Karen Paperno

We know Brokelyn readers love deals of all kinds, so here’s one for you: A store in Park Slope has a special 10 percent discount just for lesbians.

So says a sign behind the register at Boing Boing, a maternity and breastfeeding boutique at Union Street and Sixth Ave.

Karen Paperno (left), who sells all manner of nursing and baby gadgetry at her shop, has been offering the deal for about a month. She says she has about one taker a day. She also fields occasional complaints.

“The lesbians love it and the gay males get upset,” she says. “But their disposable income is so much higher than women’s. Men just make more than women.”

Paperno, who opened the store 15 years ago, first offered the deal in the 1990s, and recently decided to bring it back as part of her push to be more personally involved with the store after its customer service took a drubbing on Yelp.

She says the discount is her way of honoring the roots of the neighborhood, where she first moved in the 1970s, when her father bought a place in the sapphic stronghold. “My first day here I saw a big pin on the sidewalk for the Lesbian Herstory Archives and I thought, ‘what a cool neighborhood, ‘ ” she recalls.

Paperno, who is married (to a man) doesn’t believe she’s running afoul of any anti-discrimination laws. “People have gotten upset but it’s my store and I have the right to do it,” she says. “I offer hardship discounts of all kinds, all the time. This is just one that I advertise.”

In terms of eligibility, she doesn’t require any proof, though she says a few drunken college experiments do not a lesbian make. But anyway, straights almost never try to get in on the discount, she claims. “This neighborhood is way too honest,” Paperno says.



  1. Jakob

    Nobody can sue her for discrimination. Its pretty foolproof, and courts have said over and over again that discounts for certain customers are legal and at the discretion of the owner. Its similar to a bar doing a ladies night or a fitness center offering a student discount or a museum letting bank of america customers in for free. The only way someone can sue if it was because they weren’t hired for a job because they weren’t a lesbian mom. So get over it richard sol!

  2. Ditmas Deb

    Nothing wrong with it, except that as a confirmed, lifelong bargain shopper, I don’t think 10% is really even a discount at all. 25% and up – now that would sound like a genuine discount!!

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