With a little help from gay bar patrons and drag queens, a 7-year-old Girl Scout completely sold all of her cookies twice over when she and her mom hauled them around the super-queer neighborhood of West Hollywood (WeHo), Los Angeles.
The scout, Siena Levin, sold the cookies as part of the scouts’ seasonal fundraiser to support her local troop in Glendale, California, Yahoo Life reported. Last year, Levin and her mom sold the cookies door-to-door in a process her mother called “nightmarish.” This year, they wanted a “high traffic, low competition” area to make the sales a little easier.
So Levin, her 4-year-old sister, her mother, and the girls’ aunt walked along WeHo’s Santa Monica Boulevard, hauling bags filled with 120 boxes of cookies in 13 different flavors. The girls walked the sidewalks, calling out, “Girl Scout cookies!” to passers-by. Outdoor diners came over and bar patrons reached over patio railings to make purchases.
“Some of the guys at the bar, they were trying to help us with sales,” Levin’s mom said. “They were yelling out for us, telling people to walk by. They were like, ‘You wanna buy some cookies? They take Venmo!'”
Drag queens also helped draw attention to the sales and took pictures with the girls. Levin sold out of all 120 boxes and then returned the following Sunday with a wagon to haul the cookies and make them more visible to buyers. With the help of diners, bar patrons, and drag performers, she sold out again.
“It was so fun,” Levin said. “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!'”
Levin’s successful sale won’t only help fund her troop into the next year, it will also help her earn two badges for successful young cookie sellers: The “My First Cookie Business” badge and the “Cookie Goal Setter” badge.
But even more importantly, Levin’s mom said she hopes it’ll teach her girls about “compassion, love, and community,” especially as a wave of legislation has painted LGBTQ+ people and drag performers as threats to children.
“I want to teach my kids to be accepting and loving towards people, all kinds of different people,” Levin’s mother said.
In the recent past, anti-LGBTQ+ conservatives have attacked the Girl Scouts for allegedly promoting “radical feminism,” accepting LGBTQ+ members, and not being transphobic.
In 2016, pastor Kevin Swanson said that Girl Scout leaders should be drowned because they “force kids to sin.” That same year, a Catholic archbishop said the scouts’ teachings were “incompatible” with church values, and pastor Franklin Graham urged other Christians to boycott the scouts’ cookie sales. In 2018, the anti-LGBTQ+ legal group the Liberty Counsel also called for a boycott because the scouts’ parent organization supports comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education.
“Kids really absorb the energy our parents put out there,” Levin’s mother added. “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.”