PAC: Political Action Cupcakes

PLURALISTIC: a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain an autonomous participation in and development of their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization

photo courtesy of Cupcake Royale website

Son and Daughter ate gay cupcakes today.  They were pumped about it.  They’ve asked for gay cupcakes in the past, but I always refused.  They are cute.  They are delicious.  They are made from mostly organic and local ingredients.  But, I’m against them on principle.

Perhaps I should explain…

Our local cupcake shop, Cupcake Royale, makes delicious cupcakes.  So delicious.  Just typing the business name makes me my mouth water like one of Pavlov’s dogs.  The cupcakes come in all flavors.  You can get a classic (vanilla cake with chocolate frosting) if you’re a traditionalist or any of the other more adventurous flavors.  Lavender.  Lemon drop.  Salted caramel. Red velvet.  Tiramisu.  Raspberry lemonade.  Dance party.  Triple threat.  Velvet Elvis.

So many choices, so little motivation to exercise.

Last year, the shop expanded the selection to include The Gay.  Somewhat cliché, The Gay is a vanilla cupcake infused with rainbow sprinkles and topped with more sprinkles and an edible rainbow.  A portion of the proceeds benefit the It Gets Better Project.  Cupcake Royale has already raised over $10,000.

For those who don’t know, the It Gets Better Project seeks to comfort LGBT teenagers by reminding them that they are not alone and that happy and full lives are waiting once they get through the often cruel teen years.  The project is one effort to turn the tide on the rising number of teen suicides resulting from bullying.

For those of you who have read this far and are wondering how someone could be against delicious cupcakes that potentially save lives, bear with me.

I support any effort to help teenagers make it through difficult years.  If adult voices can cut through the chaos and isolation of adolescence with some perspective and hope, I say “preach it!”

I am one of the overshadowed Christian voices rarely featured in sound bytes that support gay marriage.  I do not see a conflict between supporting civil marriages for same-sex couples and the tenants of my faith.  In fact, as I see it the separation of Church and State established in the Constitution prohibits the tenants of my specific religion (one of the over 300 religions/denominations in the United States) from imposing on the rights, dignity and liberties of other members of our pluralistic society who do not share my faith.

If that’s not enough to convince you that I’m not a bigot, you should know that I have friends who are gay.  Of course, even the most ardent opponents of gay rights make the same claim.  But, do they also have naturally blonde friends, freckled friends, darker-than-khaki friends, and friends with astigmatisms?  I do!  Surely that sets me apart and demonstrates my open-mindedness.

So, back to my problem with gay cupcakes…

Sometimes I need to bribe my children.  Cupcakes are an extremely effective way to do so.  But, I’m a mostly-stay-at-home-mom-who-runs-a-modestly-profitable-business-on-the-side (MSAHMWRAMPBOTS?).  So, I need to bribe on a budget.

Here is where the cupcake shop earns my wrath.

The full-sized gay cupcakes – with their sprinkles and sugar rainbows which make them superior to all other cupcakes from a child’s perspective – are placed on the bottom shelf of the display case.  That is the shelf that is right at child eye level.

The mini-muffin sized “baby cakes,” appropriately sized and priced for my children (who are really just in it for the frosting) are on the highest shelf and provided in limited flavor choices with a noticeable shortage of sprinkles and rainbows.

Oh, and did I mention that they charge extra for gay cupcakes?  Yeah.  They do.

So, there I am…standing in front of a case of cupcakes in a liberal Seattle coffee shop trying to explain to my two children why they must cheerfully accept a smaller cupcake that is clearly inferior to the humongous sprinkled and sugar-rainbowed beauties placed right in front of their faces with proceeds that benefit a terrific cause.

This is the cupcake shop equivalent of candy racks at the check-out stand.  And, I am against it on principle.  It’s a cheap trick designed to victimize parents who are too tired to fight another battle.

And so, I dig in my heels and purchase the less expensive and clearly inferior cupcakes.  Then, I grab my two sulking children by the hands and sheepishly leave the cupcake shop with tightness in my chest that can only be relieved by yelling, “I’m not a bigot, I’m just trying to bribe on a budget.”

But today, Daughter’s preschool had a birthday party for all the children who will have birthdays in the summer.  As part of the celebration my (gay!) friends brought in gay cupcakes.  Daughter was SO excited!  My friends generously held one aside for Son.  He was equally excited.

It was the perfect outcome.  I didn’t compromise my parental bribery standards (oxymoron?) and my kids ate the cupcakes they have always yearned for.  Everyone wins!


8 thoughts on “PAC: Political Action Cupcakes

  1. Love this post! I know exactly what you mean about trying to reason with kids when there is something as alluring as a gay cupcake in front of their eyes. It’s brutal.
    I’ve never even heard of gay cupcakes; I don’t think our local cupcake store sells them, though now I’m going to look! I must admit I find it slightly annoying when all sorts of businesses and companies suggest that consumerism is the answer to combating many evils of our society – racism, cancer, discrimination of all kinds: “Buy what we sell, help the cause, be a passive activist, feel good about yourself!”
    Anyways, those cupcakes look pretty darn good. Maybe I’ll make myself a batch – it’s cheaper, too 🙂

  2. Bribing on a budget – love that line! I do that all of the time! I prefer to get my kids the cupcake minis, too. It is more affordable and they taste great, too. 🙂

  3. You had me at “MSAHMWRAMPBOTS.” Because I am, too, but never bothered to string the acronym together. Maybe I’m a MSAHMWRAMPBAN because mine is not so much “on the side” as “at night.” And it’s not stripping, just in case you ask. Though I’m considering it.

    Mention to the store that they would sell more cupcakes if they put the minis down low. Seriously. It would bring in more moms more often and that surely makes up for the cut in profits that is a $2 mini versus a $4 gay cupcake.

    And as a seriously pro-LGBT, pro-social-cause-cupcake person, I have to say…they shouldn’t charge extra for the gay cupcake. They should donate part of their proceeds, not donate your money. Small quibble, but seriously, they need to put their money where their mouth is. Because with that proposition, I’d eat the gay cupcake even though I LOATHE sprinkles. Hate them. Think they’re the reason for the downfall of society. Along with croutons, but don’t get me started.

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