A Texas Rainbow Cookies Story
June 8, 2021 6:39 AM   Subscribe

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. This story ends with a line around the block! A happy post some of us may need today. posted by Glinn (25 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I mean, even if you're the hatingest hater who ever hated, how do you hate rainbow heart cookies?
posted by Mchelly at 7:51 AM on June 8, 2021 [14 favorites]

Mod note: A few deleted. Thanks for the feedback all, I've removed the Guardian link and we'll keep an eye on future Guardian pieces covering LGBTQIA+ and Queer stories.
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 8:46 AM on June 8, 2021 [7 favorites]

The cynical part of me feels like their second post was a PR stunt (or at least exaggerated) to exploit people supporting Pride, especially since the owners said they'd be donating the proceeds to animal rescue groups instead of anything LGBT-related. OTOH, is a self-serving fib less bad if it promotes a feel-good message of inclusivity?
posted by Rhaomi at 8:54 AM on June 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

I am from nearby and it's a pretty shitty place to be queer, and not especially great for business to be boldly queer-friendly, so this seems like a weird flex but may actually be, based on their follow-ups, calculated to be a "see, gay people don't have any problems!" stunt.

I would love for it to be not that. The next town over has a university that has always drawn a quietly robust population of small-town queer kids, but it's not a region where they stay to settle down and you therefore can bank on their dollars to keep you afloat while straight bigots - and they hold a grudge a long time around those parts - never shop there again.

As a stunt, this seems like a good way to guarantee your store gets burned down and the local fire inspector grins like a comic book villain as he blames the owner for leaving a stove on. I can't imagine this being good for sales in the long run, but maybe I am wrong and just have a lot of "get out as fast as you can before this place kills you" feelings still.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:35 AM on June 8, 2021 [14 favorites]

My first thought was right there on that Reddit thread. What bakery doesn't take a deposit (or payment in full) for an order that large? I'm glad it worked out but, man, lesson learned I hope.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:39 AM on June 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

It says a lot about the state of the world where we all have to be questioning whether this is legitimate or some kind of stunt.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."
-alleged quote from William Casey, former CIA director

Sounds like their job is done.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:36 AM on June 8, 2021 [10 favorites]

I too found it peculiar they donated to animal rescue groups instead of LGBT+ charities. But the hate over a rainbow cookie is far too believeable.
posted by tiny frying pan at 10:38 AM on June 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

What bakery doesn't take a deposit (or payment in full) for an order that large?

There's a lot of people who are very good at what they do, but have no head for business. Maybe it just never occurred to them til it happened that a customer would cancel an order.

Or maybe this is a long-standing customer who'd earned their trust.

Also, in the grand scheme of things, 5 dozen cookies doesn't seem like a large order. If people regularly come in to buy a dozen, that's 5 customer sales. Depending on their daily sales, it might be big enough that you appreciate them calling ahead, but not big enough that it necessarily impacts the work flow of the day.
posted by explosion at 10:41 AM on June 8, 2021 [10 favorites]

All’s I know is, now I’ve got a mad craving for sugar cookies.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:58 AM on June 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

""get out as fast as you can before this place kills you"

Huh? What's the relevance of this song?
posted by jonathanhughes at 11:07 AM on June 8, 2021

It is an explanation/elaboration of Lyn Never's comment quoting it.
posted by biogeo at 11:10 AM on June 8, 2021

a "see, gay people don't have any problems!" stunt

I'm trying to imagine a scenario where a small-town Texas baker posts some rainbow pride cookies in order to piss off local Facebook followers, knowing that in the end they can get sympathetic national press and more orders. Like, the bakers talk about this scheme while kneading dough one day, have a little meeting where they work out all the mechanics of how the plot will play out, maybe even give it a name, like "Operation Lufkin It," and then say "no, no, we must swear an oath of silence." Then the head baker's phone rings, it's a Russian number, and they both look at each other.
posted by swift at 11:39 AM on June 8, 2021 [8 favorites]

@jonathanhughes, what biogeo said. The song is by Rae Spoon, one of the lyrics goes ".. this town will chase you with a gun in its hand" and Lyn Never's comment resonated.
posted by elkevelvet at 11:45 AM on June 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Like, the bakers talk about this scheme while kneading dough one day, have a little meeting where they work out all the mechanics of how the plot will play out

KRAMER: Well, I saw Mom and Pop this morning, but when I went by the [shoe repair] store on my way home? The place was empty. Everything is gone. Mom and Pop - vrooop - vanished.

JERRY: So all my sneakers are gone?

KRAMER: I'm afraid so. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I've been asking around - they didn't even have any kids.

JERRY: Mom and Pop aren't even a Mom and Pop?!

KRAMER: It was all an act, Jerry. They conned us, and they scored, big time.

ELAINE (amused): So. Mom and Pop's plan was to move into the neighborhood...establish trust...for 48 years. And then, run off with Jerry's sneakers.

KRAMER: Apparently.
posted by rhizome at 11:52 AM on June 8, 2021 [18 favorites]

Those cookies look fucking amazing.
posted by bq at 1:02 PM on June 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

(Would anyone mind sharing the issues with Guardian LGBTQ+ coverage? I'd like to know more about that, as a semi-regular Guardian reader.)
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:29 PM on June 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

The Guardian has consistently employed and published pieces by extremely transphobic, hateful authors, to say the least.
posted by sagc at 1:34 PM on June 8, 2021 [6 favorites]

(Also, it's pretty easy to find - google the name of the bakery and the Guardian, and you'll find the pieces on this story.)
posted by sagc at 1:35 PM on June 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

sagc, that's what I was looking for, and what I suspected. Thanks.

CCBC, the Guardian piece isn't special, you can get the same details from any of the other sources.
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:53 PM on June 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Couple comments of back-and-forth on the Guardian side-issue removed; there's a MetaTalk thread where folks can discuss that if they want, let's let this be about the post subject itself.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:49 PM on June 8, 2021

I would have absolutely expected the first reaction to the cookies, but not the second. I'm happy to hear there's more gay-supporting people in Texas.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:22 PM on June 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Some of this isn't adding up for me and I'd really love more context.
  1. On their FB page, in some of their comments, they've been a little dismissive about questions as to why they're choosing to donate to animal shelters instead of LGBT organizations during Pride month over support because of their Pride cookies.
  2. On their FB page, they quickly edited one of their posts thanking everyone for their support to remove mentions that they were going to donate to the Trevor Project in addition to local animal shelters.
  3. There are screencaps going around from one of the owner's private FB accounts, where it's clear she had an acrimonious divorce with her ex-husband (who later came out gay), and states that she outed him to the Washington Post reporter.
  4. There are screencaps going around from the Confections Instagram page, where her ex-husband corroborates the acrimonious divorce, but on his side states that his ex-wife (and co-owner of the bakery) apparently tried to blackmail him over his being gay.
I mean, they're welcome to donate to whomever, but yeah, this is just starting to feel weird, and the celebrating definitely is coming across like allies wanting their cookies...
posted by i used to be someone else at 1:42 PM on June 9, 2021 [6 favorites]

Oh great. Milkshake Duck. Can't even have rainbow heart cookies any more.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:20 AM on June 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

I’m from that next town over that Lyn Never referenced (hey there, fellow Dragon, Class of mumble mumble) and none of this surprises me.

I’m not surprised the initial social media post generated some hateful reactions. I’m not surprised the owners got overwhelmed by the spotlight and fumbled some of their responses. I’m not surprised by the skepticism and cynicism about their intentions. I’m not surprised somebody going through a divorce said and did hurtful things.

Most importantly, and this is the part I hope people will focus on, I’m not surprised by that photo of people lining up around the block in the rain to show their support.

I get it; this is East Texas, an isolated, rural, back-asswards part of an already conservative state. I mean, Louie Gohmert is our congressman. It’s not an easy place to be LGBTQ. That’s why my brother left and rarely comes back. But there is a tight-knit community of LGBTQ folks, and a lot of supporters. A few years ago a small school district refused to let a same-sex couple attend prom, which led to East Texas’ first Lavender Prom (funded in part by drag shows at a local bar).

Things are changing. Slowly, frustratingly so most of the time, but surely.
posted by mcdoublewide at 10:09 AM on June 10, 2021 [7 favorites]

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