A far suburban bakery, about 45 miles northwest of Chicago, plans to hold a family-friendly drag show this weekend which is expected to draw crowds of protesters and counter-protesters. Over the last few weeks, the owner of UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills has received both in-person and online threats to her business, according to local police.
The threats claim the show — described by the owner as “very, very family friendly” — is a “child-trafficking event.” These fabricated criticisms are in step with dangerous anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that’s been bubbling up across the country. In June, Texas House Member Bryan Slaton threatened to propose a bill banning children from attending drag shows in reaction to a similar family-friendly drag event hosted in Dallas. Closer to home, UpRising Bakery’s critics have launched a Yelp smear campaign. Many comments that violate the site’s terms of service have already been deleted and protesters are mad.
Tickets for UpRising drag show, planned for Saturday, July 23, have sold out and another is planned for August. Bakery owner Corrina Sac tells the Tribune that critics have called her workers pedophiles — one left a sign reading “Pedophiles work here.” Another spit into the bakery’s display case and someone left a bag of feces outside their door. The bakery opened last year in McHenry County, an hour away from Chicago.
Police continue to investigate these incidents. Sac wrote on Tuesday, July 19, via the bakery’s Facebook page, that she remains grateful to police efforts: “They are allowing us the freedom to conduct business safely, and allowing them the freedom to exercise their rights to peacefully assemble. This is what good police are.” Police, in a news release, made point to say that it found “no nudity or sexually explicit content is reported to be part of the scheduled performance.”
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