Cake Trumps Hate

Illustration by MARK STIVERS

Cake stand: Justice tastes particularly sweet at Freeport Bakery this week. On January 17, co-owner Marlene Goetzeler cut a check for $1,725 to the Sierra Forever Families’ LGBTQ Foster Youth Collaborative. She raised the money by selling “More Cake, Less Hate” T-shirts ($24) and donating $5 from every sale to the program which seeks to place these marginalized youth in permanent homes.

The charitable donation is the latest episode in a saga that started when Goetzeler posted a picture of a cake with a Ken doll in a dress on Facebook. Unexpectedly, she drew death threats from noxious zealots. But the hate was soon drowned by online support coming from as far away as Austria and Taiwan as the cake post became a forum for debate over transgender issues.

Goetzeler embraced her unintended statement. Custom Ken Cakes are now a staple of her bakery. (Recent requests including “punk rock Ken” and “Rachel Maddow Ken.”) The giving will continue as the T-shirts are still on sale.

“As a business, there’s a responsibility to take a stand, even though it’s really scary,” she said.

After her latest Ken Cake post, a commenter intrigued Goetzeler when he wrote, “not everybody who disagrees, hates.” She resisted the urge to combatively engage, saying she respected the man’s opinion, but felt she needed to take “a stand.”

The commenter replied, “A cake stand?”

Goetzeler laughed.

“At first, I couldn’t handle the drama,” she said. “But now, I write something back. I’m trying to engage people and not make it hostile. Because it can be turned into a positive thing.”

Seasonal beer: At Tapa the World, Lucky Joe English IPA has been the beer of the month for over a year. Tapa’s new “beer guy,” Danny Levis, grew tired of the monotony. So he resurrected the gimmick. Starting this week, the Order of the Rabbit from West Sacramento’s Jackrabbit Brewing Co. takes over as the new beer of the month. The Belgian Dubbel comes in a 22-ounce bottle ($12) and has notes of malt, caramel and “holiday fruit.”

“It’s perfect for how cold it is this time of year,” Levis said.

As the months change, so will the beers, but Levis plans to keep things seasonal and regional.