The Proud Boys are waging war on Pride Month. Drag Queen Story Hours for children are a big, sparkly target.
- In the past two weeks, Proud Boys have attacked LGBTQ story hours at libraries in California and North Carolina.
- Attendees in NC said sheriff's deputies escorted Proud Boys to the door of the reading room.
Twice in two weeks, at libraries in North Carolina and in California, members of the Proud Boys have crashed
"Bring out the drag queens!" witnesses say members of the Cape Fear chapter of the extremist group chanted on Tuesday, outside a locked reading-room door at a
"It wasn't even a drag queen event," Emily Kaufman of the Anti-Defamation League told Insider. "It was
Even the rumor of
The New York City-based program brings drag queens to schools, libraries, and bookstores around the country, to read to kids in a celebration of books and diversity.
"During storytime we entered the library to ensure the children were not subject to a drag queen or age-inappropriate behavior from the staff," the "Official Cape Fear Proud Boys" posted later on Tuesday, on Telegram.
"If this is happening in your town let them know you're watching."
It was the second incident in as many weeks.
On June 11, a Saturday, some 10 men in Proud Boys regalia barged into a reading room of a library in San Lorenzo, California, where Bay Area drag queen Panda Dulce was reading to children.
The men made white power hand gestures and shouted "Who brought the tranny?" and "It's a groomer. It's a pedophile," Dulce told ABC.
"One of the Proud Boys at the scene wore a T-shirt displaying an image of an assault rifle," said Kaufman. "Alongside the phrase, 'Kill Your Local Pedophile.'"
The Alameda County Sheriff's Office has opened a hate crimes investigation into the incident, NBC
"The Proud Boys are incredibly transphobic," Kaufman said of the group, which has some 119 chapters in 46 states recognized by its national organization.
"But this month, many chapters have decided to celebrate quote-unquote Western Pride Month instead," said Kaufman.
"Several chapters have committed to posting anti-LGBTQ-plus rhetoric every day during Pride Month," she said.
"This is the most intense rhetoric I've seen from the Proud Boys since I've been monitoring them for the last two years," she added. "It's been so heinous and awful."
So why are the Proud Boys so obsessed with drag queens?
Jonathan Hamilt is the executive director for Drag Queen Story Hour, which has 50 chapters throughout the US and 20 more overseas.
Hamilt thinks the rabid opposition from extremists of all stripes has to do with ignorance and misinformation — the very things that his organization strives to abolish through inclusiveness and play.
"We're challenging the patriarchy and challenging the binary. We're challenging societal norms and forced gender roles and stereotypes that have been in our culture literally forever."
As for the Proud Boys themselves, "We're trying not to say their names in interviews or call attention to it because they're getting enough air time," Hamilt said.
"It's Pride Month and we're trying to focus on being proud of who we are and doing our programming," he explained.
"We have a great community that loves us and wants us there. That's always been way greater than any opposition," he added.
And like the extremist group whose name he won't mention, "We are defiantly loud and very organized as well," he said.
"Just with glitter."
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