Last month, Freeport Bakery owner Marlene Goetzeler found herself swept up in a social-media storm after she posted a photo of the shop’s latest creation – an absolutely fabulous Ken doll sporting a tiara above his blond locks and a strapless Cinderella ball gown setting off his well-toned arms – to Facebook.
When the photo of the buttermilk cake, which some interpreted to have a transgender theme, began to receive negative comments, Goetzeler’s first inclination was to take it down. But in the face of all the haters, she decided to leave it up. She said she realized that transgender people faced that sort of vitriol every day and she wanted to stand with them. She stopped removing the rude and hurtful remarks and instead asked Facebook friends to help her counter the negativity.
“I started getting emails from Tel Aviv, from Canada, from Australia, from Pakistan, from New Zealand, from Norway,” Goetzeler said. “There was just an amazing amount of people saying, ‘We support you. If we were there, we’d buy something. We wished we lived closer.’ ”
The backing took many forms, Goetzeler said: Grandparents thanked her because they had seen their transgender grandkids face rejection and harassment. People from around the Sacramento region stopped by the shop and told her they came to buy something because they wanted to support her. One person wrote and told her: “My whole life, I wanted to play with dolls. I never fit in. It’s only been in the 10 years since I moved to Cincinnati and found my life partner that I’ve found happiness.”
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The comments, Goetzeler said, moved her to do even more. Freeport Bakery, now known as “the home of the Ken doll cake,” is selling T-shirts with that nickname and a slogan that reads, “More Cake, Less Hate,” for $24. Goetzeler is donating $5 from the sale of each shirt to Sierra Forever Families, one of several local adoption agencies participating in a citywide effort to place orphaned lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth into affirming households.
Goetzeler said her assistant suggested the agency after reading an Aug. 28 article about Sierra Forever Families’ work in The Sacramento Bee. Sixty T-shirts went on sale Sept. 3, Goetzeler said. The bakery sold out of them a few days later. So far, she said, she’s sold more than 100 shirts. On its Facebook page, the bakery is also posting a new Ken doll cake every week.
The “More Cake” catchphrase was inspired by one of the cause’s many proponents, Goetzeler said: “I was reading an email from somebody supporting us, and they said, ‘People should just hate less and buy more cake.’ I thought, ‘More cake, less hate.’ At first, I didn’t want to put the word ‘hate’ out there because I thought that’s just adding to the negativity, but then I thought, ‘More cake, more love?’ It just didn’t have the same ring to it.” ...
Granting healthier alternatives: Kaiser Permanente Greater Sacramento will award 59 community benefit grants totaling more than $1.5 million to regional nonprofits, schools and government entities, according to Trish Rodriguez, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in south Sacramento.
The grants went to agencies as diverse as the ReIMAGINE Mack Road Foundation, WellSpace Health and Sacramento City Unified Schools. They ranged from $5,500 to $100,000.
At WellSpace Health, Rodriguez said, the funds will go toward improving the safety net. The Sacramento-based nonprofit, formerly known as The Effort, runs several primary-care clinics that serve low-income and uninsured patients.
“We gave them two $100,000 grants,” Rodriguez said. “They help engage frequent users of emergency services and get them looped back into the safety net for appropriate primary care and preventive care.”
That type of “comprehensive” care is irreplaceable, Rodriguez said, and an important part of living a healthy life. “Emergency departments are more transactional and immediate,” she said, adding that “WellSpace has really good in-depth experience” connecting people with the services they need.
While a $50,000 grant to Sacramento City Unified is aimed at connecting youths to health care and other services, the Mack Road Foundation received $90,000 to support its farmers market and its Sacramento Summer Night Lights event.
The summer night events, held several times a week, combines a free meal with lots of activities as a positive outlet for youths, Rodriguez said, and the farmers market sells fresh produce in a community where residents find that to be a challenge.