Last week, students from an Indiana University-Purdue University diversity group were denied service when attempting to order rainbow colored cupcakes from the JUST COOKIES store in Indianapolis owned by David and Lilly Stockdon. What has occurred since started out as a whisper and has since become quite a media frenzy. And maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal to most were it not for the fact that four young gay people took their own lives this week as a result of being bullied.
In the last few months, since raannt’s popularity has grown, now being on the radio, the planning of raannt.com, hiring employees, discussing the possibility of a reality show, writing for several publications and our being flown around the country to attend red carpet events, we have begun receiving daily emails and messages from young gay and lesbian people reaching out, telling us that they appreciate what we are doing because we are letting them feel that there is a place for them, even in a conservative town such as Indianapolis. They say that when they hear us on the radio, dubbed as “the gayest couple in Indianapolis”, they laugh, but also feel as if we are making huge strides towards normalizing gay people in the everyday world.
We never intended it to be that way. Really, this all started out as a joke. We were just going to write some reviews and get into all of the events we wanted to go to, but over time, people took what we had to say seriously. Now, bars, restaurants and event planners ask us what changes they should make and watch us when we’re out, wondering what we’re going to write. Celebrities invite us to their events and send us notes of encouragement. And we’re constantly asked questions about our engagement to be married this year, our relationship, how we’re treated in society as a gay couple and what changes we would make to help gay people feel more included. We are not political, yet we have been pushed into the role of activists. And up to this point we have always stated that we are not activists.
But not anymore. Now, we accept the role happily. And when this whole cupcake business happened we stood in our front yard, watching our three dogs running around, completely unaware of the ugliness in the world, and we realized, we had to do something. As a happily, engaged, gay couple, blessed with the ability to have awesome gay and straight friends, family support from both of our families, incredible careers and the ability to travel around the world, we had to be role models for gay youth and door openers for anyone who doesn’t have a voice.
On August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in which he spoke of a day when “all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning, My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty…let freedom ring.” He did not speak of all of God’s children, EXCEPT gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning children. But he did say we would join hands and sing, “Free at last, free at last. God almighty, we are free at last.” Just don’t ask for rainbow colored cupcakes.
On November 16th, 1943, Bobbie Sconce was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Totally unaware in her lifetime, she would become the foundation for civil activism. 47 years later, on my 18th birthday, I came out to her, my mother. She had always been a bleeding, heart liberal, so I expected that she would embrace this news with open arms and tell me that she would love me no matter what, but the response I received was completely different. Her eyes filled with tears and she began crying. “Mom, it’s going to be ok.” I said. “I’m worried about your safety.” she replied. And I thought about this for a second before responding. “I’ll be fine. I’m not stupid. I’ll practice safe sex. I won’t get anything.” She stood up and looked at me sternly. “Do you think I’m an idiot. That’s not what I’m talking about.” She said, clearing her eyes with her hand. “I’m worried about how society will treat you.” And there it was.
I never understood what she meant. Realistically, I had been dealing with it for so long that I had become somewhat immune. In elementary school the other kids would point to their homogenized milk and laugh calling me a homo like the milk. In junior high kids made fun of my voice or my clothes. In high school, almost daily I got hate notes in my locker and fag written on my car. I was pushed in the hallways and threatened in classes. I was called names such as faggot and cum-bucket. On our last day of class in our senior wills, someone even willed my ass to the football team. Awwww…what a porn film THAT would have made. And I guess my skin just grew tougher. But words still hurt. And this is a constant conversation we have in our home because we get asked this often in interviews. Alex feels that words are just words and they only have the power we give them. Over time, I’ve begun believing that too. But this isn’t just about college kids or teenagers. Just last week when we were in Walmart, the old man selling Colt’s memorabilia pointed to us and snickered to a group of women, “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And they all laughed. Yeah, real funny asshole. Gay and lesbian soldiers fighting for your right to sell some ridiculous jersey in a shitty Walmart. That’s freedom!
Years later, when my mother found out that kids had made fun of me in school, she wanted to know names because she wanted to call their parents and let them know what kind of children they had raised. I think I was 25 at the time.
But that’s what parents do. They protect their children. But are these kids being protected from feeling like they’re outsiders and “obscene” just because they wanted some damn cupcakes. It’s so ridiculous we don’t even get it. The hard fact is that everywhere we go, people treat us with open arms. We want a world that is not gay or straight…but just people. There should not be any “gay community”, we should just be community. I don’t want to have to drink out of a water fountain tagged “gay”.
We don’t even feel like a “gay” couple, even though we are proud of being gay. My mother passed away, which is sad, because she would have loved to see the attention we get and be a part of all of this. Trust me Mr. and Mrs. Stockdon, be happy Bobbie Monn is not alive today, because she would have marched her fine ass down to the city market and educated you awhile on the word “obscene”. She could throw a good sit in. She could also throw a good love-in. And that is what she taught me on how to approach adversity in the world. When I would talk about someone hurting my feelings by calling me names she would quote Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s wife, when asked what she does when she walks down the street and is called racial slurs. “I hold my head up high because I refuse to become a victim of their oppression.”
I don’t want another kid to kill themself just because of who he or she loves or is attracted. I don’t want one more kid to feel alone, desperate or isolated. That’s why we love Lady Gaga and Glee. They make us feel alive and part of something greater. They make us feel powerful for being different. And the truth is, we are. People ask us all the time why we interview so many porn stars. Well, the truth is, the interviews are easy to get. But, they are also extremely interesting to us as well as the over 4000 daily viewers who read them obviously, because they’re not afraid to let it all hang out. Let it all hang out. Be yourselves. Don’t hide.
Don’t be lame…be sexy!
Which brings us to our point….In response to this ridiculous turn of events, on Friday, October 1st 2010 at 8am, the crew at The Scotty Show on RadioNOW 100.9 in Indianapolis will be hosting The First Annual Cupcake Party in honor of the IUPUI GLBT group who attempted to get cupcakes. There will be cupcakes and the kids DID get the cupcakes through an open minded, much appreciated bakery, The Flying Cupcake!!!! We wanted to do something a little extra special for the kids so we have launched requests for responses for our next sexy list.
GAY CUPCAKES ARE SEXY BECAUSE…
Every response that we get will be posted on our upcoming sexy list and should be in by Thursday, September 30th at 11:59pm. Either email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or put it on our fan page on Facebook at raannt! But please do it to help these kids out and hopefully to bring enough awareness to stop further suicides. (If you’ve thought about suicide or are suicidal please contact The Trevor Project) If you’re gay and you’re reading this, you’re a survivor. Have fun with it, enjoy life and make the most of it. Live a SEXY life!!!!
Almost exactly a year ago, the North Central High School drama department here in Indianapolis produced the play “The Laramie Project” about the murder of the gay, college student Matthew Sheppard. The idiots over at The Westboro Church, associated with anti-gay leader Fred Phelps, were said to demonstrate against the play. We decided we would head over, and in the character of the good ole boys of raannt, offer to take Mr. Phelps out to sushi and martinis while in Indianapolis. We expected to see hundreds of demonstrators but instead we found a family of three, eye to eye, with about a hundred gay activists on the other side of the street, standing in the rain. Needless to say, he didn’t take us up on our offer. But we would have gone. We would have loved to have seen if he would have ordered the California Roll or just raw eel.
In the same vain, we’d like to send a small message out to Mr. and Mrs. Stockdon, who have so graciously spurred this historical event, bringing much needed attention to gay youth…listen careful David and Lilly…this one’s for you!
Don’t forget to email us at email@example.com
Gay Cupcakes Are Sexy Because…
Eyes Open, We’re Watching!