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News Update

Far-right protesters storm Drag Queen Story Hour in the East Bay

Protesters whom police believe are members of the extremist group Proud Boys disrupted story time at a library on Saturday while a well-known local drag queen was reading to a group of children.

Panda Dulce, a regular host of story times in the Bay Area, was reading to a group of youngsters Saturday afternoon at the San Lorenzo Library when a group of protesters stormed the event, shouting slurs and frightening children, Dulce told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“This could have absolutely gone worse,” Dulce told the newspaper in an Instagram post. “No words can appropriately capture the immediacy and terror u feel when u realize there is no buffer between u and these men. That they are likely armed and you are utterly defenseless.”

The Alameda County sheriff’s office is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

“It appears the group of men may be affiliated with the Proud Boys organization,” said department spokesman Lt. Ray Kelly. “We’re taking this incident very seriously. We’re going to do everything in our power to protect our LGBTQ+ community.”

Story programs hosted by colorfully dressed drag queens are common the the Bay Area, as a way to delight children, encourage a love of reading and promote gender inclusivity. The event at the San Lorenzo Library, in an unincorporated area south of Oakland, was part of a Pride celebration.