Oy, South Dakota. I try and keep the politics off here–It’s a food blog, after all, and I don’t even talk about food-related politics. Things these days are so polarized and divisive that I even catch myself deleting politically-charged posts from Facebook, due to comments that hurt my feelings. Stupid, I know. I’ve been around the internets long enough to know that if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. But too many people don’t rationally discuss their opinions and instead react with knee-jerk emotion. And when it comes from your own family members, it’s especially hurtful. All that aside, South Dakota is once again in the national spotlight for its open bigotry and hatred and ignorance, thanks to HB 1008, also known as the “Bathroom Bill” (which sounds like the name for a creepy superhero or serial killer).
But all joking aside, this is wrong. It’s discrimination, plain and simple. And opens the door for all sorts of targeting and bullying. And speaking as someone who was bullied in school…I remember how hopeless and hurt I felt. I can’t begin to imagine what kids today probably go through, especially kids who are already likely suffering and confused and trying to carve out their identities in this world. People who fear being able to reveal who they truly are because friends, family, society, won’t accept them.
I’m also astounded by the ignorance surrounding transgendered people. I’ll be the first to admit, I feel like an old, out-of-touch fart and don’t know the proper names for all the different levels or facets of gender identity. But I know enough NOT to equate a transgender person with a sex offender or pedophile. They’re two totally unrelated types of people. I also know that people in general tend to fear what is different or that they don’t understand. But what gets me is that there’s no willingness to reach out or be open to learning. When the bambino and I talk about things, I try and remind him that certain things are just different, not necessarily weird or wrong.
By this point, I’m sure you’re wondering what in Hades does this have to do with Sunshine Cupcakes? Nothing. Other than I needed to say that not everyone in South Dakota feels this way. I think those of us are in the minority, which is a shame. And while I’m a transplant and didn’t grow up here, this is my child’s home. I already struggle with the lack of diversity in this state, though the bambino has kids from other cultures and countries in his class, so that’s a start. But I feel strongly enough that this path South Dakota’s headed down is wrong, that I’m urging people to call up Gov. Daugaard and tell him to veto this. I also told my sister that if he signs the bill into law, she ought to cancel her plans to bring the family out here to visit. They’re wanting to visit the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore this summer. I say, stay home. Don’t spend your money here.
So I made these Sunshine Cupcakes. They’re simply chocolate cupcakes, with whipped buttercream and sunflowers. Sunflowers are happy. They turn their faces to follow the sun, something I can relate to, especially in the winter. The cupcakes don’t care if you’re straight, gay, transgendered, black, or white. They’re just here to bring a little sunshine and sweetness into a dark world.
I will close this by saying that I don’t expect to get many, if any comments on this post. If I do, fine. I moderate the comments on here, and while I’m okay with any honest discussion (or compliments, of course!), I will delete anything blatantly hateful or rude.