Perhaps, from the title, you might surmise that we have some news in our family. Big news, though not totally unanticipated news.
Announcing he was a “tomgirl” at age three was a clue. Wanting to grow up to be a flower at age four was another. His interest in drapes and the ability to recognize damask patterns at six was another. And so the clues added up….but, when is the right time to ask your child? Or do you just let them come to you? What the heck is the protocol for this sort of thing?
Well, the clues got even stronger when I visited his very straight sister in February at college in Boston. All of the sudden she announced she was joining the Queer Students and Allies club & was wearing the rainbow flag on her backpack. Since at the time she was a member of the womens rugby team, it seemed like a little overkill to me. In my role as her overbearing mother, I tried to explain that if she wanted to date boys she needed to lose the rainbow flag from the backpack as some boys might not think a rugby playing girl sporting the rainbow flag on her backpack was eligible material. According to Miss G., I was totally wrong and she would only want to date a boy that supported gay rights. Well, of course, I said I want that to, but she’s never even going to get that boy to date her while she’s sporting the rainbow flag on her backpack…..Thinking there was more to this story, I bluntly asked her,” Is your brother gay?”
“You have to ask him yourself!” was her sharp reply.
So, when I got home, I asked my fifteen year old and the answer was “yes”. Mr. D said he has known since the 5th or 6th grade that he was gay and was going to tell us went he went off to college. The Lieutenant and I have always told our children that being able to love whomever you want is a basic human right, being gay is biological and not a choice and that gays should be able to marry, so Mr. D. said he knew we would support him; however, it still pains me that he had to keep it to himself for so long. He was still going to wait until he went to college to tell, but then he watched The Normal Heart on HBO and decided that he could be brave and come out now. He loves making videos and wanted to make a coming out video. We explained that he would need to tell his family and close friends before the release of any video….
The next very scary step was telling his extended family and close friends. I am still amazed about the love and support he has felt. On hearing he was gay, my mother said, “I know”. My father, who has been know to use the very un-pc term “fruitcake” in the past, declared his steadfast love toward his grandson. Amazing! His friends were surprised, but it wasn’t a big deal to them. The video has been released and now he is just living the normal life of a much loved sixteen year old boy.
So, in celebration of my son, I made him a Coming Out Cake – truly a rainbow of fruity flavors aka Melange of Late Summer Fruit Layer Cake. It is basically the same cake, adapted from the classic Joy of Cooking, I made for Coco’s birthday party, with a twist, of course. I doubled the recipe to make 5 layers and some cupcakes. To each layer I added a different fruit so I would get a rainbow effect. I used pears, nectarines, cherries, fresh picked blackberries and raspberries. I decided on a lime frosting and it was good!
Coming Out Cake aka Melange of Late Summer Fruit Layer Cake
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 T plu 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- assorted fruit for each layer, peeled, cored and chopped small 2 nectarines, 2 pears, 2 cups blackberries, 2 cups sweet cherries, 2 cups raspberries
- 8 large egg whites
- 1/2 t. cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ****Lime Frosting****
- 4 cups (1 pound) confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1/4 t. salt
- as needed for correct consistency milk
- This recipe makes (3) 8 inch or 9 inch layers, so I made 2 batches of it for 5 - 9 inch layers plus some cupcakes.
- Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl combine the milk and vanilla.
- In yet another bowl, beat the butter until creamy and then add the 1 2/3 cups sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
- On low speed add the flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the milk mixture in 2 parts. Beat until smooth.
- In another bowl whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar until stiff peaks form, but not dry.
- Divide the batter among 3 bowls. Add separate fruit to each one. I mashed the fruit a bit before adding.
- Fold in a third of the egg whites to each bowl.
- Transfer each set of batter to a greased and floured 9 inch cake pan, spread evenly.
- Bake 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool and remove from pan. Frost.
- Lime Frosting (I made 3 batches to get amount needed for cake):
- Beat together sugar, butter and zest.
- Add the lime juice, salt, and as much milk as necessary to get the right consistency.