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Publix grocery chain apologizes after store bakery refuses to write pro-trans message on cake

The manager of a “Publix” supermarket in Florida has apologized to a trans advocate customer after its bakery declined to write an overt pro-trans message on a cake. 

Yasmin Flasterstein, a 28-year-old employee for mental health advocacy non-profit “Peer Support Space,” attempted to buy a cake decorated with a pro-trans message at the local supermarket but was told by the bakery manager that it wouldn’t happen. 

The woman, who was purchasing the cake for a pro-trans campaign at her job, claimed that she asked for the message to be put on the cake with icing. However, the bakery decorated the cake with the words “people deserve joy,” and provided the customer extra icing so she could add the word “trans” herself.

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Front of Publix store

Customers standing out in front of a Publix super market. (Joe Readle)

The activist told “The Orlando Weekly” that after asking the “confused” employee to put “T-R-A-N-S” on the cake, the employee went to grab a bakery manager who came back and told Flasterstein the bakery couldn’t do it according to corporate’s standards.

The customer told the outlet, “The bakery manager had come and told them that they could not write ‘Trans People Deserve Joy’ on the cake because it was taking a political stance and corporate wouldn’t allow it.”

Flasterstein noted that the manager appeared to be “on the brink of crying” as she denied the custom order. 

The customer complained about the incident on Facebook shortly after, tagging the Publix brand. In her post, she argued that Publix was not avoiding a stance but taking one with their refusal to write the message.

Flasterstein wrote, “A stance?! That any community deserves joy is a stance? So let me get this right, it was okay to write ‘people deserve joy’ but not ‘trans people deserve joy’.”

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Trans kids matter

People gather in support of transgender youth during a rally at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Salt Lake City.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

She further hammered the grocery store chain, stating, “Peer Support Space has used Publix to cater our large events many times as it’s quick, easy, and affordable. We will no longer be using Publix for events. On a personal level, I’ll also be decreasing the amount I go to Publix.” 

She added, “This is shameful. It was a slap in the face of the reality of the state of the world on a day where a joyful event ALMOST let me have a break from all that.”

Flasterstein also reached out to Publix through email and was given an apology. A local Fox affiliate confirmed the exchange, which Flasterstein shared with the outlet. 

In it, the supermarket’s manager claimed it wasn’t against corporate policy to write the pro-trans message. The statement said, “Please allow me to apologize for your recent experience with the purchase and writing request on your cake. I am genuinely disappointed that our team let you down. The message you requested written on your cake is one that we definitely could have written.”

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Flasterstein told the outlet what she wanted out of the grocery chain: “We simply want Publix to be accountable to whatever internal directive or policy was given so that they could change that or they could make sure that it’s made more clear so that this doesn’t happen again.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Publix for a comment and will update this story if one is given. 

'Protect Trans Youth' protesters

Demonstrators protest in support of rights for transgender youth. (Fox News )

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