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One slice at a time



these special cakes can look plain and mundane on the outside but once sliced, reveal the most colorful, vibrant hues inspired by the flag of the LGBTQ+.

Coming out is a process that takes time, effort and courage. It is different for each one — simple or extravagant, bold or subtle, intimate or just speaking it into existence as long as it’s the truth and a form of loving oneself.

“Coming out is always a celebration for us (members in the LGBTQ+ community) because as they say, on birthdays, we are reborn and kind of give ourselves out to the world. The important thing about coming out, aside the fact that it’s a memorable moment for us, is also a chance for us to make a story out of it,” brand management head of LoveYourself Foundation Paul Junio shared.

However it is done, the decision of coming out is an event to be celebrated because it is, in a sense, treated like birthdays, and a celebration wouldn’t be complete without cakes.

“A lot of us want to (come out) with that bongga flair, we know that coming out is important for a lot us,” he added.

For National Coming Out Month, Cakeshops by Sonja and the LoveYourself Foundation come together for the celebration of loving and embracing oneself through a new campaign called “My Second First Birthdays” through a special line of cakes that can be used as a creative and sweet companion in coming-out celebrations.

It aims to recognize the second time people get to have an awakening to know and love themselves more with new gender identities.

“Second First Birthdays is about us. It’s about owning who we are and being proud of who we are,” Sonja Ocampo, owner and founder of both Cupcakes by Sonja and Cakeshops by Sonja shared. “I think that’s the premise behind the cakes we created.”

Like people, these special cakes can look plain and mundane on the outside but once sliced, reveal the most colorful, vibrant hues inspired by the flag of the LGBTQ+.

“Sometimes, there’s part of ourselves that we (might be) scared to show to people or we feel like we’re going to be judged. But sometimes the stuff that we’re afraid to show people are those that make us so unique and so special,” she shared.

In the cake line-up are the O-Gay Cake, a rainbow-colored chiffon cake with a surprise of chocolate nibbles inside; the Les-bi Honest Cake, which is another set of light multi-colors inside slathered with marshmallow icing; and the Bi-the-Way, Trantastic and Queerly Beloved pound cakes that represent the colors of each gender, covered with thick buttercream.

“All the cake designs are interchangeable. What matters is obviously the inside which would represent the particular flag for that particular gender that you want to reveal about yourself,” Sonja added.

A portion of the sales for the cakes will go to the Love Yourself Foundation to support its mission to help HIV-positive patients.

Ocampo reiterates her vision for her bake shop: “We try to be inclusive. It’s our business towards our customers (and) we try to welcome everybody. We want to encourage them to be themselves and to find the things that make them happy. I’m proud that we could help in our own little way.”

LoveYourself Foundation, Sonja’s partner in this campaign, is grateful to be able to provide a safe place for the LGBTQ+ to be themselves. “We know for a fact that there’s still judgement and hate out there and safe spaces give us a chance to be who we are — safe from judgements and hate. And if we have more safe spaces like this, there would come a time that there would be no need for it,” Paul concluded.

“Second First Birthdays” aims to change how the world sees the rainbow, one slice at a time.