“All this hate propaganda really makes me angry. It’s hard to talk about it. I’m really in disbelief and really wanted something that answered them,” Bumpas said. “It silences gay voices. It silences our allies who speak for us and recognize that we contribute to North Carolina and our communities as much as any other family.”
Bumpas runs Sweet Bumpas Cakes, a Durham-based home bakery that took off during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The former pastry chef moved to North Carolina from Seattle with her husband Thang. He started his bakery to make a decent living in the Bull City.
Then lawmakers started debating the HB755. The measure prohibits the teaching of sexual identities and gender orientations to children in kindergarten through third grade. The measure also requires teachers to notify parents if their children request a name or pronoun change.
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“I wanted to send the message of yes, please say gay,” Bumpas said. “I started baking the cakes and posted on Instagram and within an hour the orders started coming in.”
Bumpas and his employee Nichole Anderson hatched a plan to bring about a slice of change. It’s a cause close to Anderson’s heart. Her 17-year-old son, Logan, is transgender.
“The school is the one who revealed it to his father,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t intentional. It was that he chose to use Logan on his PowerSchool. When dad checked the notes, his dad went and waited a minute, there’s a mistake. It’s not the right name.”
It’s a pain she doesn’t want others to go through. Anderson fears this legislation will overwhelm other students who see school as a safe space.
“Where does it create security and say it’s okay to be yourself? It’s not. It worries me that the suicide rate is going up,” Anderson explained.
That’s why she and Bumpas continue the daily fight to bake these cakes in hopes of finding a sweet solution.
“I started getting emails from parents thanking me for doing this. Emails from other people in the community,” Bumpas said.
According to Bumpas, he plans to sell his cakes until the end of Pride month. A percentage of sales will go to the LGBTQ Center of Durham.
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