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New hope for suburban bakery set to close following vandalism and threats over planned drag brunch – NBC Chicago

There is new hope for a far north suburban bakery that has announced it will be closing at the end of the month. A direct result, the owner says, of “horrible attacks, endless harassment and relentless negative misinformation.”

“Not only did we hit the $30,000 (goal), we surpassed it,” said Corinna Sac, owner of Uprising Bakery & Cafe.

“I’m very emotional about it, very grateful,” Sac said.

An online fundraiser is temporarily keeping the doors open and will be used to reimburse taxes and rent.

“We struggled, and we were paying our employees and vendors, and unfortunately we didn’t have enough to then pay our taxes and rent for the last two months as well.”

Sac says the difficulties began last summer, when she announced a drag brunch planned for July. The event was quickly met with online backlash.

The day before the scheduled event, bakery windows were smashed and walls defaced with spray paint, forcing the cancellation of the performance.

“People have been protesting here for 126 consecutive days,” Sac said.

Sac says she lost several important sources of income as a result, including bulk orders and her permanent place at a farmer’s market for security reasons.

“With our brands being in other people’s stores, it could affect them (negatively),” Sak said.

Hate crimes are on the rise across the country, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Since November, in partnership with GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, ADL has seen a slight increase in incidents against the LGBTQ+ community.

“We have noticed an increase in incidents of attacks, property damage, threats, harassment and other forms of violence against the LGBTQ+ community,” said Sarah Moore, analyst at ADL and GLAAD.

“These trends are becoming more and more common.”

Joseph Collins, 24, of Alsip, was arrested early July 23 in connection with vandalism at Uprising Bakery. He was charged with hate crime and criminal damage to property.

“Horrible harassment resulted in low attendance and low sales,” Sac said.

It planned to close on March 31, but is now reconsidering due to the unexpected influx of online donations.

Over the next week, Sak and his team will consider their options and plan to announce a final decision on March 31.

Busy weekends help, but aren’t enough to keep the doors open. Sak hopes to replace lost large orders with new catering opportunities and more wholesale.

Sak says her clients keep her motivated and through emotional struggles, and make her feel appreciated in her hometown.

“I grew up here. I have never, ever witnessed this kind of hatred or intolerance.”

“Drag queens, drag kings, artists, these are people. It’s a passion. It’s a hobby. It’s a job. It’s no different from a passion, a job or a hobby. anybody else’s time,” Sak said.

“It’s not right for someone else to step in and get uncomfortable with someone else’s passion or work and say forcefully that they can’t do it. do or take away that right to be who he is.”

“We lost a lot because of all of this, (but) if I can use my platform to make a change and make a difference, I will do it every day. I will do it again and again and again with no regrets. “

NBC Chicago

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