SAN LORENZO, Calif. - Protesters and counter-protestors gathered outside the San Lorenzo library Sunday afternoon as Drag Story Hour was held inside. A group of men police believed to be associated with the Proud Boys disrupted the reading program at the library last year.
"Sometimes I think they can be too young. I think teenagers are ok but not 5, 6, 7 or 8-year-olds," said Kalia, who was studying at the library during the protest.
Drag Story Hour was held at the San Lorenzo Library but not without some controversy. During the event, people gathered in front of the library to protest against and support a person dressed in drag reading to children.
"Children should not be exposed to fringe alternative, sexual lifestyles," said David Reddy, with Bay Area Against Mandates.
"Ultimately, I don’t entirely understand what is so controversial about these events. Ultimately, I think that people conflate drag with something sexual. Something like burlesque or stripping, whereas drag, is really like makeup art, or acting or singing," said Bailee Van, a coordinator with Drag Story Hour's San Francisco Chapter.
Last year at the same library, a group of men showed up to Drag Story Hour and disrupted the program. Investigators said they may have been linked to the far-right extremist group The Proud Boys and the men left before police could arrive.
"If they continue to happen, there’ll be groups of people, not just us, but I know locally there have been other groups protesting," Reddy said.
This year’s Drag Story Hour went on with no interruptions and the protest was peaceful. Kaila says she supports Drag Story Hour when age-appropriate and individual parents have given their consent.
"I think they should mind their business and raise their kid how they want to raise them. If a parent wants to bring their kid, they should be able to without protest," Kalia said.
KTVU also reached out to Alameda County Library and has yet to hear back.