On Sunday, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office announced that it was opening a hate crime investigation into an incident at a Drag Queen Story Hour, where five men shouted homophobic and transphobic slurs such as “groomer” and “pedophile,” and used white supremacist hand signals.
One of the men wore a T-shirt with an image of an AR-15 and the text “Kill your local pedophile.”
NEW: San Francisco drag queen Panda Dulce says their Drag Queen Story Hour for kids at San Lorenzo Library today was stormed by people shouting homophobic slurs and hate speech.
They allegedly shouted "tranny" and "pedophile."
I called @ACSOSheriffs who confirmed the incident: pic.twitter.com/IwAS31vGWQ
— Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (@FitzTheReporter) June 12, 2022
The event at San Lorenzo Public Library had drag queen Panda Dulce scheduled to read stories to families in attendance. A notice of the event was shared online by the anti-LGBTQ Twitter account LibsOfTikTok on May 30 as part of an ongoing anti-LGBTQ misinformation campaign targeting drag queens.
From the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office:
The men were described as members of the Proud Boys organization, known to be a right wing hate group with anti-LGBTQ affiliations.
The men began to shout homophobic and transphobic slurs at the event organizer. The men were described as extremely aggressive with a threatening violent demeanor causing people to fear for their safety.
Deputies responded to the scene and were able to de-escalate the situation. An active hate crime investigation is underway as is an investigation into the annoying and harassing of children.
‘Proud Boys’ storm Drag Queen Story Hour with ‘violent threats’ as children look on in fear https://t.co/WYr2YPKYVj
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) June 13, 2022
Related: Proposed Law Would Fine/Jail Librarians For Drag Queen Story Hours
“As many of the books that we read to children make perfectly clear: words and actions have consequences,” said Jonathan Hamilt, executive director of Drag Queen Story Hour. “It is unfathomable that adults would terrorize children and our drag performers at story hours, and we are livid that conservative politicians and right-wing media are increasingly inciting violence, rather than working to end it.”
“We remain committed to creating safe opportunities for children to learn about the diversity of the world around them and express their most fabulous selves,” he added.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News after the terrifying invasion, Panda Dulce thanked the “amazing” library security guard who led her out of the room when the alleged Proud Boys gang entered.
Despite the interruption, once the men were removed, Dulce resumed story hour. Outside of drag, her background is in social work with a focus on youth.
“I love teaching but can no longer afford to be a teacher in San Francisco,” Dulce said. “Story hour is how I continue my youth work. I look forward to it.”
The men who stormed into “Drag Queen Story Hour” at the San Lorenzo Library were described as members of the Proud Boys Organization. @ACSOSheriffs says an active hate crime investigation is underway.
Im told this video was taken once the situation was “calmer.” pic.twitter.com/5lJYXWZZkS
— Stephanie Magallon (@MagallonNews) June 12, 2022