By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com November 22 2013 5:59 PM ET
A lesbian who lives in Washington, D.C., was appalled to find a homophobic message sloppily scrawled on a cake she'd ordered from a bakery in Arlington, Va.
Sarah, who asked that her last name not be used, tells The Advocate she placed an order for a cake with a bakery near her job in Arlington, intending to surprise her genderqueer partner, Lindsey, on the couple's anniversary. She asked for a carrot cake, based on a design she saw in the bakery's catalog that featured balloons on the cake's top. Sarah asked that the custom design not include the balloons, but include the words "Happy Anniversary Lindsey! Love, Sarah."
When Sarah picked up the cake today, she found that it not only contained the balloons she specifically requested be removed, but also an apparently homophobic message written in sloppy, unprofessional handwriting. The cake was also chocolate, despite Sarah's request for a carrot cake because it's Lindsey's favorite flavor.
As the photo Sarah shared with The Advocate shows, the cake appears to read "Lesbian Anniv. No Ballons."
Sarah says she opened the cake inside the shop, then immediately asked to speak with a manager upon seeing the message. Sarah says the manager apologized for the sloppy text but not for its inaccurate, homophobic content. The manager refunded Sarah's money and offered her a "less sloppy" cake but refused to address the cake's messaging, even when Sarah pressed the issue. Sarah says she declined the owner's offer for a new cake. She and her partner are planning to eat the cake tonight when they celebrate their anniversary.
"How could anyone mistake that for something a person would want on a cake?" Sarah asks The Advocate rhetorically. "And what baker would sell something so messy and unprofessional? When it occurred to me that this was probably an intentional insult to my relationship, I was appalled at the audacity of the cake decorator or baker or whoever was responsible. It's disappointing to know that when I want to honor the most important person in my life, I have to worry about some intolerant person ruining the surprise I had planned."
While Washington, D.C., where the couple lives, has a comprehensive antidiscrimination policy in place that prohibits discriminatory treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, neighboring state Virginia has no such law against discrimination based on either characteristic, according to Equality Virginia.