An Illinois bakery and café has postponed a drag brunch event after their venue was vandalized early morning on Saturday.
Corinna Sac, the owner of UpRising Bakery and Café in Lake in the Hills, a village to the northwest of Chicago, had advertised the sold-out Saturday “brunch at night” event on Facebook, which was set to feature performances by three local drag queens and a raffle drawing, alongside the café’s standard brunch offerings.
Drag brunch events typically feature drag queens performing – singing, lipsyncing, and dancing – as live entertainment during brunch.
Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Lake in the Hills Police Department officers were notified of “in progress criminal damage to property,” the department said in a news release. Upon arrival, police arrested a suspect, who was charged with a hate crime and criminal damage to property. Both charges are Class 4 felonies, according to the police news release.
Sac said she raced to the café and that three windows and a door were broken, and “there was graffiti on the side of our building on the brick walls,” which included hate speech.
“When I first saw it, I just started crying. That was my reaction. I just started crying. I was scared, I was hurt, I was angry, I was disgusted, and I was a little bit worried that my employees might have been here or seen it as well, so I contacted them, and they, fortunately, had gone home already.”
The police department said the café’s owner had previously reported in-person and online threats to the business and that the department had gotten word about protests and counterprotests in response to the brunch.
“The Police Department is disheartened this happened in our village, remain steadfast in our commitment to public safety and have zero tolerance to crimes against all members (of) our community,” police said in the release.
The incident comes just weeks after the Proud Boys crashed a Drag Queen Story Hour at a library in California. Drag performances have come under attack by conservative politicians and activists over the past months. Family-friendly events, like Drag Queen Story Hour, in which drag queens read to children at public libraries in an effort to promote literacy and compassion, or the family-friendly brunch UpRising had planned, have received particular attention.
In June, Florida Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini proposed legislation to prevent children from attending drag shows altogether.
Sac commended the police’s response to the incident and the controversy around the event. “They have been so amazing working with us, working with the community, working with the protesters and counterprotesters,” Sac said. “I cannot give more credit to the police department.”
And while the Saturday show has been postponed, Sac is planning on hosting another event.
“We’re not going to back down to these bullies and harassment,” she said. “It’s unacceptable what they’re doing and we’re not going to back down.”
“We’re going to show them that this might have stopped us for a day, but we are a force to be reckoned with.”