Proud Boys Protest at Silver Spring Bookstore


@KristinMink_ on Twitter

Volunteer group Parasol Patrol blocks the action with their rainbow umbrellas.

Sierra Lynch, Staff Writer

     White nationalist group the Proud Boys target Loyalty Bookstores in Silver Spring in a recent anti-LGBTQ+ protest.

     Drag Queen Story Hour is a free monthly event hosted by Loyalty Bookstores where they bring in Drag Queens to read stories to children. The aim is to provide kids with “glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.” On Feb. 18 over a dozen protesters, including Proud Boys, showed up to protest the event. 

     Protesters toted transphobic and homophobic signs and yelled slurs throughout the event. Parasol Patrol, a volunteer group dedicated to safety at LGBTQ+ events, tried to block the scene from the children using rainbow umbrellas. Other community members attempted to form a human barricade to protect the children in attendance. The protest escalated when the Proud Boys began to kick and punch the good samaritans forming the barrier. 

     Montgomery County Police claim that they dispersed the protest, however, county councilmember Kristin Mink says “the Proud Boys were able to continue approaching [them] throughout the entire event.” One member of the Parasol Patrol was punched and left with a bloody nose. She suggests setting up a designated protest area to decrease the disruption at the entrance and shield the kids from the hatred. No arrests were made but multiple attendees were left with injuries. 

     GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation reports that there were at least 124 instances of drag events being attacked or threatened across 47 states in 2022. Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, cites social media as the reason for this rhetoric. “You can see it directly, from what the far right Republicans are saying to what’s happening on social media, because what happens on social media then is that it gets repeated, amplified, and spread,” she says.

     Loyalty Bookstores tweeted that they will continue hosting Drag Queen Story Hour because “A) it is an awesome time for kids” and “B) there is no hate or violence stronger than the love of [their] community.”