The owner of a bakery in a tiny Illinois town claims her business is the latest victim of a homophobic “conspiracy” after a planned drag-show brunch was derailed by a hate crime attack then targeted by local officials who she says are blaming—and punishing—the victim.

UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills, a village just outside of Chicago, planned to hold a “Starry Night Drag Brunch” on July 23 but was forced to cancel after their windows were smashed and covered in graffiti. Then, on July 30, business owner Corrina Sac took to Facebook to say that a kids’ Disney karaoke event and a free resume-writing workshop planned for the weekend had been nixed too, this time because of local officials.

“Our hands are being tied, and our backs are being forced up against the wall by our landlord and the Village of the Lake in the Hills,” Sac said in the video posted to UpRising Bakery and Cafe’s Facebook page. “Unfortunately, we received a letter yesterday after a very threatening meeting on Thursday. [It says,] ‘Should the village become aware of any entertainment and events continuing to be advertised and taking place at UpRising Bakery and Cafe location, it will pursue appropriate enforcement actions.’”

Sac said the letter listed the consequences should the bakery not adhere to the warning, including zoning ordinance violations, penalty fees, and a suspension of the business’ license.

“Let that sink in. We’ve been holding events pretty much since the day that we’ve opened,” Sac said, sitting in front of a board scrawled with pro-LGBTQ+ messages and illustrations. “At no time up until Thursday of this week, we were told that our building was not zoned to do any sort of event and that there was a concern for how much resources we were taking from the village.”

“I feel like this is discrimination and a conspiracy to interfere with my business,” Sac continued. “They shifted gears and started victim-blaming me after we were attacked. …And not until that happened and not until they saw the incredible support in lines around the building, did they suddenly have a problem with our community-driven events here at UpRrising.”

Hours before the bakery’s “Starry Night Drag Brunch” was supposed to start on July 23, Joseph Collins was charged with a felony hate crime and criminal damage to property for allegedly breaking the building’s windows and spray-painting hateful messages, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The bakery had to cancel the brunch as a result.

In her Saturday video, Sac said local officials seemingly offered support following the attack, only to turn around and threaten her with what felt like bogus restrictions.

“I’m incredibly… angry that they are taking the stance against us after being here on Saturday morning and voicing their support for us and saying that they will help us reschedule the canceled event,” she said. “Now, they want us to cancel—not only our next drag show—they want us to cancel every single event, stop hosting events going forward. To me, it seems a little coincidental.”

After vowing to move forward with an event for children, Sac and UpRising Bakery and Cafe received overwhelming support on social media.

“Your community will support you. Let us know what you need,” wrote David Schuringa.

“Shame on you, Village of Lake in the Hills !!! Absolutely shameful,” Leticia Joy Goluba wrote on the bakery’s page.

The Village of Lake in the Hills did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment Monday. However, the village addressed Sac’s video in a statement released Sunday.

“This issue is about a business conducting activities it was never permitted to conduct. While the potential revenue from these entertainment events may be attractive to the business owner, the Village is seeking compliance with its zoning regulations,” the statement read. “The Village’s focus was on coordinating the resources necessary to ensure the safety of the business, its neighbors and the community, while also preserving the Constitutional rights of the participants.”



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