Just days after a drag show in Woodstock was canceled amid threats on social media, UpRising Bakery and Cafe announced it was pulling the plug on its upcoming event.
The Lake in the Hills bakery cited a terrorism bulletin from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a Facebook post announcing the cancellation of its Slay Belles Holiday Drag Spectacular planned for Dec. 17.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an updated Terrorism Advisory System bulletin for members of the LGBTQ community, along with public gatherings, faith-based institutions, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities, the media and perceived ideological opponents. It is the seventh advisory issued since January 2021 and replaces the bulletin that expired Nov. 30.
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“This decision comes after days of discussion with our cherished drag performers and in observation of the growing threats of violence and targeted protests against drag performances,” UpRising said in a Facebook post. “We love our drag community and their performances, however, we all agree that there is no performance worth a human’s life. I want to be abundantly clear that we are not backing down or giving in to the hatred.”
UpRising Bakery has been hosting periodic drag events since it rescheduled a canceled drag brunch that drew a litany of angry comments and in-person harassment in protest, as well as vandalism that resulted in hate crime charges against an Alsip man.
On Friday, a drag show at Stage Left Cafe at the Woodstock Opera House was canceled after plans to protest the event were posted on social media, Business Operations Manager Betsy Cosgray said. This is the first time the event has been canceled since it began in August.
To raise money to make up for the performers’ and bakery’s lost income from the event, the bakery will host a pride party on Saturday, according to the Facebook post.