Owner of Bakery Targeted for Hosting Drag Shows Plans to Stay Open in a New Location

The owner of a suburban bakery targeted for hosting drag performances said she’s planning to stay in operation — and find a new home for her business within McHenry County.

Earlier this month, UpRising Bakery and Cafe owner Corinna Sac announced she’d close down her Lake in the Hills business after months of harassment, protests and threats. The attacks came after the cafe announced plans last July to hold two family-friendly drag shows as part of an event series.

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“I’ve never experienced this kind of vitriol, hate and intolerance in the local community,” Sac said. “It was (an) after-hours ticketed event, all ages were welcome, and we worked really hard with finding great local performers who understood what all ages was about.”

After the events were announced, Sac said personal information about her family was posted online, the building was vandalized and protesters gathered outside for 126 days straight.

Read More: Suburban Bakery Targeted, Vandalized Over Plans to Host Family-Friendly Drag Show

“When it got too cold for them to protest, they switched to online,” Sac said. “Bad reviews, misinformation, false calls to the health department. Any time they see us doing an event here they call the police on us.”

The attacks on Sac’s business come amid a wave of legislation targeted at the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans people, and of attacks on queer-friendly spaces, including a deadly mass shooting at a Colorado Springs nightclub. Numerous other drag events have faced demonstrators or were canceled altogether because of threats.

Sac, who was born one town over, said she always thought she lived in an accepting community and never had to hide that she identifies as bisexual.

“It was such a welcoming place for me,” Sac said. “When all of that happened, it’s been kind of like, ‘This is my home, what’s happening?’”

After months of threats, Sac announced plans to close earlier this month. But supporters started a GoFundMe campaign that far exceeded its $30,000 goal. Sac said that means UpRising can keep going.

“It is very clear that people want us here,” Sac said. “They don’t just believe in what I’m doing, what my staff is doing and our establishment. … They also want a safe space in their community.”

That’s why Sac said she’s committed to staying in McHenry County. But with her Lake in the Hills location targeted for so long, she plans to find a new home for UpRising. She hasn’t yet found a new space for the bakery and cafe but is looking to move as quickly as possible.

“People really came to our aid,” Sac said. “That gives me and my family a little more hope, and it just solidifies that what we’re doing is right.”

Contact Nick Blumberg: [email protected] | (773) 509-5434 | @ndblumberg

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