"All this hate mongering really has me angry. It's hard to talk about. I'm really in disbelief and I really wanted to something that spoke back to them," said Bumpas. "It's silencing gay voices. It's silencing our allies who speak up for us and recognize we contribute to North Carolina and our communities just as much as any other family."
Bumpas runs Sweet Bumpas Cakes, a Durham-based home bakery that took off at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The former pastry chef moved to North Carolina from Seattle with his husband Thang. He launched his bakery to earn a decent living in the Bull City.
Then lawmakers began debating HB755. The measure bans the teaching of sexual identities and gender orientations to kids in kindergarten through third grade. The measure also requires teachers notify parents if their children request a change to their name or pronouns.
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"I wanted to send the message of yes please say gay," said Bumpas. "I started baking the cakes and posted on Instagram and within an hour orders started coming in."
Bumpas and his employee Nichole Anderson have been baking up a plan to serve up a slice of change. It's a cause near and dear to Anderson's heart. Her 17-year-old son Logan is transgender.
"The school is the one that outed him to his dad," said Anderson. "It wasn't intentional. It was that he chose to use Logan on his PowerSchool. When dad checked the grades his dad went wait a minute, there's a mistake. This is the wrong name."
That's pain she doesn't want others to go through. Anderson worries this legislation could out other students who consider school a safe space.
"Where does that create the safety and say it's OK to be yourself? It doesn't. It concerns me that the suicide rate will go back up," explained Anderson.
That's why she and Bumpas continue the daily fight baking up 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," said Bumpas.
According to Bumpas, he plans to sell his cakes until the end of Pride Month. A percentage of the sales will go to the LGBTQ Center in Durham.