Proud Boys Stormed a Drag Queen Story Hour at San Lorenzo Public Library
Last Saturday, a Drag Queen Story Hour at the San Lorenzo Public Library in California was disrupted when a group of Proud Boys came into the library and terrorized the children, parents, and performer in attendance.
For those not in the know, Drag Queen Story Hours are popular children’s events in libraries across the US. They’re a way to introduce LGBTQ+ representation to kids in a fun, lighthearted, and family-friendly atmosphere. At a typical Drag Queen Story Hour, the performing drag queen will of course read stories, but they might also sing, dance, or play an instrument. Here’s a typical event from the New York Public Library:
According to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Saturday’s story hour at the San Lorenzo library was interrupted when a group of several men reportedly affiliated with the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys came into the library and began shouting transphobic and homophobic slurs. The event was put on pause for everyone’s safety while librarians called the police. When the Sheriff’s office arrived, the men were escorted out of the library and the event eventually continued. The men involved are now the subject of a hate crime investigation.
Although there’s no confirmed direct link yet, the attack was likely caused by a Twitter account called “Libs of TikTok,” which helped spread the word to its right-wing audience by posting a link to the event.
In an interview with ABC7, the performer, Panda Dulce, said,
I think now is the time to unite, to come together as a united front … a lot of people are asking me, “Do you feel safe? Are you okay?” And the answer is no, I don’t. I don’t feel safe in my own home.
Dulce also said that she plans to keep doing events like story hours:
[The Proud Boys] were successful in scaring us, but they weren’t successful in their ultimate goal which is to make us go away because of their own discomfort with the diversity of our world. They failed in that.
Anyone who cares about human rights needs to understand the gravity of this incident. The right-wing is unified in their transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and racism, all of which are picking up steam. That a group of Proud Boys felt bold enough to storm a library and yell slurs at a group with small children present shows how much the situation has escalated. We need to take Panda Dulce’s advice and come together to stop this hate movement in its tracks.
(image: Ted Eytan/Flickr)
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