Congressman Swalwell in San Lorenzo to support LGBTQ+ community

East Bay Congressman Eric Swalwell offered his support to members of the LGBTQ community at the San Lorenzo Library offering a message to stand against hate.

His visit to the library on Thursday was on the heels of a weekend incident where members of the far right-wing group Proud Boys stormed Drag Queen story hour. Roughly five men yelled hateful phrases at a drag queen named Panda Dulce just as she was about to read a book to children.

Swalwell has the following message for the Proud Boys.

"You have nothing to proud of for what you did to children," Swalwell said. "It would be a compliment to call you boys because you acted like babies with the maturity level that you brought."

Swalwell sat down with library staff, law enforcement, members of the LGBTQ community, and Asian-American community to talk about the incident and offer his support.

LGBTQ activist Billy Bradford of Castro Valley said what struck him the most was a vulgar T-shirt that one of the Proud Boys was wearing.

"If he wants to find a pedophile, he's not going to find them at any drag queen story hour and he's not going to find them at any pride event," Bradford said.

Harris Mojadedi, an LGBTQ member and trustee for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, said he is urging the DA’s office to prosecute the men to the fullest extent of the law.

"We are seeing far too much hate," Mojadedi said. "We're seeing it every day and sadly the San Francisco Bay Area is not exempt from this hate."

"You have to figure out where does the free speech stop and where does the criminal behavior begin?" said Alameda County Sheriff's Department Lt. Ray Kelly. He said the men under investigation are part of a small, fringe group of Proud Boys from the Bay Area, but declined to say which cities they live in.

MORE: Proud Boys storm into Drag Queen event at Bay Area library

"In talking to people that know them, they were normal members of the community," Kelly said. "Somewhere along the way they became more radical in their views."

The sheriff’s department, the library, and members of the LGBTQ community continue to receive messages of both support and hate, including threats.

"If the goal from members of the Proud Boys was to run away from this fight, we are coming back with more equality," Swalwell said. "If the goal was for us to cower, we are standing up, and if the goal was for us to stay silent, we are louder and stronger than ever."

With help from Alameda County Supervisor Dave Brown, the San Lorenzo Library will now host Pride events the library every month for the next year, extending celebrations beyond the month of June.