Publix apologizes after bakery refused to write ‘trans' on cake

Publix has apologized to a customer after an Orlando bakery clerk and his managers refused to write "trans" on a sheet cake.

"It just kind of felt like they were saying trans people aren’t people, and it was extremely hurtful," Yasmin Flasterstein said Friday.

She never imagined she and her trans coworker would face pushback for asking the clerk to write "Trans People Deserve Joy" on the cake. 

It was going to be taken to a rally put on by their nonprofit, Peer Support Space, for members of the trans community.

"He looked a little bit confused, so I said, ‘T-R-A-N-S, trans people.’ I thought maybe he just didn't hear me, but I didn't really think anything of it," Flasterstein said.

That's when she says the clerk at the Publix off of West Colonial Drive in Colonialtown walked away and came back with a manager.

"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 said.


Instead, the manager, she says, offered to write "People Deserve Joy" and let Flasterstein herself write "trans" on the blank space at the top.

"She seemed really emotional about it, and I really believed that it was corporate policy and out of her hands," she said.

Flasterstein reached out to Publix about the matter, and both the company and the store manager have since apologized.

In an email thread she shared with FOX 35, the company apologized and said its associates should have fulfilled her request. Publix's policy, according to the email, only requests that statements are free of copyright or trademark, support a charitable cause, are factual, and are positive. 

She also received an apology from the store's manager:

"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. Any message that is of a positive nature is allowed and yours certainly was. I will personally go over our guidelines for writing on cakes with every member of our management team and every bakery associate to prevent this or any similar occurrence from happening again. I will share this message with my leadership to ensure guidelines are clear in every Publix store."

Flasterstein isn't satisfied with Publix's response.

"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," she said.

FOX 35 News has reached out to Publix several times throughout the week but has yet to receive a response to a request for comment.