The community helped Siena and her team sell out all their inventory twice over on two Sundays in early February.
The support for the queer community has grown in recent years, with more and more individuals and organizations advocating for LGBTQIAP+ rights and equality. This support includes not only legal and political initiatives but also social and cultural movements that seek to promote acceptance, understanding and celebration of LGBTQIAP+ identities and experiences, reports Yahoo! Life.
Anyone who realizes how warm and friendly queer culture and queer people can be is completely drawn to them. A beautiful example of this is when drag queens and gay bar patrons helped a Girl Scout get another badge.
Siena Levin, a 7-year-old Daisy Scout from Glendale, California, received help from drag queens and gay bar patrons in West Hollywood—a predominantly LGBTQIAP+ neighborhood in Los Angeles. Siena was preparing to sell cookies for her troop during this year's cookie season and was seeking a location with "high traffic, low competition" to maximize sales and earn another Girl Scout badge.
With the help of the local queer community, Siena, her mom Jen, her 4-year-old sister Riley and her aunt Julie sold out of all their inventory twice over on two Sundays in early February 2023. Siena credits the support of the community and their generosity in tipping.
She said, "It was so fun. We were just walking and, like, they'd stop, when they see one person buying, they'd all crowd in. One of the guys who bought cookies, he was really funny because he said, 'You're gonna make me fat!'" The group made their way up and down the famous Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, the heart of the neighborhood's queer community, where indoor and outdoor bars feature drag shows and go-go dancers.
"At first, we didn't know how people would react," Jen shared. However, locals were thrilled to see Siena and her team, and many leaned over patio railings to grab a box of cookies. "Some of the guys at the bar were helping us with sales. They were shouting out, telling people to walk by, saying 'You want to buy some cookies? They take Venmo!'"
"The girls were so confident," Jen continued, "They just started yelling on the street, 'Cookies! Girl Scout cookies!' to anyone who would walk by. And the great thing about it was, like, everyone's sitting outside of these bars [at curbside tables], so they're ready. We didn't have to plant ourselves down in front of a business or restaurant. I picked up 120 boxes of [cookies] and I said, 'OK, we're gonna just go sell this door-to-door however we need to do it.'"
They were on their way to visit Jen's sister in West Hollywood when they came up with the idea to sell cookies there. Jen had a difficult experience selling cookies door-to-door last year, so she had been encouraging Siena to come up with a creative plan.
On the first day, Siena sold all of her cookies, so Jen had to restock with another shipment. The following Sunday, Siena was more prepared, having borrowed a wagon from a friend. Predictably, they sold out again. Siena explained the 13 different Girl Scout cookie flavors, from the beloved Thin Mints to the new Raspberry Rally. "The first time we didn't have the wagon yet. We just had a bunch of bags and I had to hold them out so they can see the options," she said.
Siena's passion for math could be her ticket to becoming a math teacher, as she earned almost $180 in tips while selling Girl Scout cookies in West Hollywood. Although pleased with the profits, Siena stressed that "it all goes back to the troop." Jen, as a mother, felt the experience was beneficial for her daughters, teaching them "entrepreneurialism" and the values of kindness and inclusivity.
She encouraged other parents to follow this example, as it highlights the importance of love, compassion and community, especially during a time when hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills are being introduced in state courts, such as the ban on kids attending drag shows in Tennessee.
Jen said, "I want to teach my kids to be accepting and loving towards people, all kinds of different people. Kids really absorb the energy our parents put out there. The belief that our parents project out there, spoken or unspoken, our kids are absorbing all that. So, as a parent, I really want to be conscious about what I'm doing, by exposing her to and teaching her about love and acceptance and kindness and good entrepreneurial skills." Siena added, "Everyone was so friendly and kind and generous. They loved their cookies."