Police are probing a possible hate crime after a group of men dressed like the far-right group Proud Boys disrupted a drag queen story hour for preschool children at a San Francisco Bay Area public library.
Lt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded Saturday afternoon after five men wearing the Proud Boys’ black-and-yellow colors crashed the Pride Month event at San Lorenzo Library.
No one was injured or arrested, The Associated Press reported.
“It appears the group of men may be affiliated with the Proud Boys organization,” Lt. Kelly said Sunday, adding that deputies will be stationed at future drag queen story hours “to deal with any disruptors.”
Media outlet KQED, which first reported the story, said the men — one of whom wore a shirt with the slogan “kill your local pedophile” emblazoned over a gun — called drag queen Panda Dulce a “tranny” and “pedophile” as they entered the library.
KQED reported that Mr. Dulce, who was singing a welcome song to the toddlers when the men arrived, hid in an office with a security guard until they left.
“I didn’t know if they were armed. I was only acutely aware of the fact that neither myself nor any of the other librarians were,” Mr. Dulce told KQED.
The drag queen added in an Instagram post that the men “totally freaked out the kids” and “attempted to escalate to violence.”
Conservatives have said such story hours — which feature men dressed in women’s clothing reading children’s stories — encourage gender confusion among children at an impressionable age.
• This story is based in part on wire service reports.