It's been called the "gayest cake" ever — a one-tiered rainbow cake with a unicorn horn, gold sparkles and phrases like "proud," "non-conforming" and "Get used to it!" Now Chris Farias is using it to raise money for a cause.
The Hamilton partner of a creative branding studio asked a Hamilton bakery for the "gayest cake" they could make to celebrate his engagement. The final design garnered worldwide attention after being shared on social media.
To keep the momentum alive, Farias made a T-shirt with the cake's image. He's selling them online, and will give the proceeds to an LGBTQ charity in Hamilton.
"I wanted to let people know that it's not just about a cake," he says. "It's about so much more than a cake. It's about inclusivity. It's about human rights."
The cake's positive international attention contrasts a perspective in the U.S. Supreme Court case where a Colorado baker is arguing he has the right to refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.
Jack Phillips's refusal to make a cake for a gay couple was deemed a violation of Colorado's anti-discrimination law. However, U.S. Supreme Court justices are looking into whether the Colorado civil rights commission that ruled on the issue was unduly biased against religion.
Phillips, represented by the conservative Christian advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, contends that law violated his rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion under the Constitution's First Amendment.
The Supreme Court arguments focused on his free speech claim, based on the idea that creating a custom cake is a form of free expression.
Farias had a different experience. He wanted to celebrate his engagement to his partner, Jared Lenover, by getting him a cake. He requested the cake from Cake and Loaf Bakery in Hamilton, and asked for the "gayest cake [they] could make."
The final result had Farias in tears.
"When I picked it up, it was nothing that I imagined, but everything that I wanted," says Farias.
For Farias, the cake symbolized a celebration of love and his thankfulness that in Canada, he is safe from the negativity, thanks to the law and a government that stands behind him.
Messages from around the world
"I'm so happy that I live in this country," Farias says. "I'm so proud and happy that I can marry the person who I love, so much."
"If anyone has a problem with that in [this] country, I have the law. I have the government protecting me. I have rights in this country and it makes me feel so much better."
He hasn't decided which charity to donate to just yet. He says the cake was a symbol of showing support for the community, and he wanted to get that message across through the design.
Farias says the post now has nearly 4,000 shares and 5,000 likes and comments. He says all of the comments have been positive.
"Out of all that has happened, the fact that I haven't gotten any negativity on that makes my heart just beam," recalled Farias. "I've had direct messages from people from Senegal, Africa and Germany. I just got one today from India saying how they cried when they saw it. And it gave them hope. Canada's just such a great example for them."
A no brainer for baker
For baker Quinn Pallister of Cake and Loaf, who designed the cake, the message resonated with her personally.
"A year ago, my parents got married. When my mom's partner came into my life, it was a really wonderful time. Seeing my mom transition into the LGBTQ community was just something really special for me," says Pallister.
She says she wanted to create something that was inclusive and something that made people happy when they looked at it.
"I wanted to be able to celebrate anyone ordering a cake and to know that if my mom went somewhere and couldn't order a cake because of loving each other that astounds me. So to think that I can create this for someone without a second thought, it was an [easy] answer. Of course I'd do it."