Content/Trigger Warning: Transphobic slur is mentioned in the beginning and there are discussions around transphobia, homophobia, demonization/dehumanization of queer and trans people, and whyte supremacy.
Photograph via Google Earthview
“Who brought the tranny?”, said one of the Proud Boys at the San Lorenzo Library where Drag Queen Story Hour took place.
On June 11th, 2022, a group of whyte supremacists called the Proud Boys terrorized and invaded the San Lorenzo Library in the afternoon.
They disrupted Drag Queen Story Hour, a space where drag performers read books to children. It is a space where queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming elders and community members create a spacetime of collective self-expression, beauty, and storytelling for the youth.
The Proud Boys targeted Panda Dulce who is a drag queen of Chinese American ancestry.
Source: Panda Dulce
Panda Dulce is one of the founding queens of the Drag Queen Story Hour. Her work explores the stories of queer and trans people of color, chosen families, and displaced peoples of so-called San Francisco aka Yelamu Ohlone Land. She writes about race and desirability, intersectional justice and LGBTQ inclusion. Recently, she is the creator of the forthcoming all-QTPOC web series, CHOSEN FAM. Lastly, she has a background in social work.
The Proud Boys were aggressive and violent with the intention of perputating transphobia, queerphobia, and whyte supremacy through slurs and demonization.
The Proud Boys have used the rhetoric that suggests that all queer and trans people are inherently pedophiles, and that they’re worried about the children and that they need to “save the children”. Listen, if I had a kid and I needed a babysitter, I would feel much safer having my kid being taken care for by a drag performer rather than a member of the clergy or a whyte supremacist.
In reality, people were scared and terrified of the Proud Boys, and especially Panda Dulce and the children were very afraid for their own sense of safety and comfort. Many people ask Panda Dulce if she feels safe after the incident, and she said that “No, I don’t. I don’t feel safe in my own home…they were successful in scaring us but they weren’t successful in their ultimate goal which is to make us go away because of their own discomfort with the diversity of our world. They failed in that.”
Thankfully, Panda Dulce and the kids were escorted by security to the back where they would be safe and then they were able to continue with storytime. The cops were called and began their hate crime protocol. The sheriff that Panda Dulce spoke to said there were 3 possible violations for this incident. The first one would be trespassing, the second one would be disturbing the peace, and the third one would be annoying and harassing children.
Panda Dulce’s message on the sheriff’s diagnosis on the violations was that “While I am glad there is a CA penal code prohibiting the annoying and harassment of minors, which they are in violation of, apparently there is discord over whether or not this categorically qualifies as a hate crime. Whether or not this behavior is admissable because of the first amendment. I think that’s bogus. There was clear transphobic and homophobic animus, and protections should be clarified and extended to better protect the LGBTQ+ and any vulnerable community.” This whole police involvement is ironic due to the legacy of cops targeting queer and trans folks for existing. But, that’s another conversation for another time.
As a queer nonbinary trans young adult, it is disturbing to see people continously dehumanize and demonize other people for simply existing. Especially this close to home, that city is where I visit my own maternal grandma. Yet it is not all surprising, the whyte supremacist rhetoric that creates transphobia and queerphobia is still strong within the United Snakes of Amerikkka.
Drag Queen Story Hour began in 2015, and these spaces were created for the purpose of storytelling and having the space where youth can be themselves and eventually blossom into healthy adults. Then there came the bashing from people with transphobic and whyte supremacist mindsets, online and in real life. Those that don’t understand the nature of liminality, and those that don’t understand the true liberation of the self.
The echo chamber of intergenerational colonizer ideologies has caused this harassment and many more to happen on a regular basis. Therefore, the queer and trans communities are targeted with no hesistation and to be not questioned whatsoever. All Panda Dulce ever really wanted was to tell a story, not to hurt people.