Lost Business For Supporting The LGBTQ+ Community

This Small Business Lost Customers For Supporting The LGBTQ+ Community — Then Some Good Humans Stepped Up

confections-bakery-pride-cookies-backlash
Confections/Facebook

Being queer involves a lot of emotional whiplash. One minute I’m despairing over the more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills being pushed through various state legislatures (17 have already been signed into law), and the next minute I come across a thread on social media so full of support for the LGBTQIA+ community that it restores my faith in humanity. The other day after getting a hateful comment from a person telling me Jesus is anti-LGBT, I re-shared a post about how religion and allyship don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I was floored by how many people commented with images from their churches — rainbow flags, rainbow-painted steps, etc.

We know love will eventually win, but sometimes it’s hard to see that. When a family member rejects you or you receive multiple hateful emails from internet trolls calling you an abomination/sinner/libtard/abuser/disgusting/pathetic, it can feel like the whole word doesn’t get it, and doesn’t want to get it. And then sometimes love wins in a really big, obvious, heart-stretching way that leaves you choking back tears. Get a tissue, because this is a lot.

Confections bakery in Lufkin, Texas had quite a week last week, and got to experience that intense emotional whiplash that is so familiar to queer folks. It all started on June 2, when they posted an image of their adorable heart-shaped sugar cookies with rainbow frosting, along with a status that said, “More LOVE. Less hate. Happy Pride to all our LGBTQ friends! All lovers of cookies and happiness are welcome here.”

Following the post, Confections lost a large number of followers and also received a “very hateful message” to their business page which cancelled a five dozen cookie order of summer-themed cookies — which they had just finished decorating.

“My heart is heavy,” the followup post from the next day says. “Honestly I never thought a post that literally said more love less hate would result in this kind of backlash to a very small business that is struggling to stay afloat and spread a little cheer through baked goods.”

You can just feel how gut-wrenching it was for these folks to experience this hatred.

Well, overnight, word got out via social media about the cancelled order, and here’s where we get some classic queer emotional whiplash. Confections became so overwhelmed with calls and messages and emails and in-person orders that they could barely keep up.

They said the line was like that for the whole day, since the moment they opened.

They totally sold out of — wait for it — not just the cookies from the cancelled order, but literally every fucking thing in their shop. No seriously:

Customers and supporters completely emptied their shelves. I think I see one single crumb over there on the right. They had to close up early on Friday to bake more cookies to meet the insane demand from all their new supporters. People were showing up after the shelves were empty and just donating money (which Confections told its Facebook followers they forwarded to local animal shelters).

This story is partly infuriating because it’s a perfect illustration of just how fucked up people can be. And yet it also shows the brighter side of humanity — there are thousands upon thousands of us who will show up in support of inclusion and love. This tidal wave of support is one of my favorite parts of being queer — this community is so beautiful and kind and protective. We look out for each other. We don’t let each other fall. And when someone does fall, thousands of hands reach out to help them up. You will not find a more supportive community than the queer community and its allies. (Yes, we have some TERFs, etc, but by and large as a group we’re hella supportive.)

But still, so often, it feels like when we take two steps forward, we get attacked and pushed back a step. We have come so far as a community, and allyship for the queer community is stronger and more visible than ever. And yet 2021 has also set a record for anti-LGBTQ bills being introduced to state legislatures. The year with the second highest number of anti-LGBTQ bills is 2015 — the same year the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. This is not a coincidence.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to show your allyship. The people making these laws against the LGBTQ community are not the ones who will be affected. They don’t understand these issues, nor do they want to. They are pandering to a specific group of voters who they believe will keep them in power. They peddle “family values” while they oppress and stomp on people who are simply trying to form families and live a normal life like anyone else. Shows of support like the one we’re seeing with Confections are needed more than ever to demonstrate to lawmakers what the true majority really wants.

And to those who continue to oppose LGBTQIA+ rights, here’s what I want you to understand about the LGBTQIA+ community: We will not be pushed down. We will not be relegated to the shadows. Love will win. We are not broken. We are not abominations. Our love is not unnatural. We are comprised of love, and we want to make the world a place that celebrates that love and champions diversity. If you can’t get with that message, you are on the whole entire wrong side of history.

Now go eat a rainbow cookie.