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Proud Boys left bloodied in clash outside NYC Drag Story Hour

Proud Boys left bloodied in clash outside NYC Drag Story Hour
Anti-LGBTQ+ protesters Photo: Screenshot/

Anti-LGBTQ+ protesters, including some wearing Proud Boys colors, clashed with supporters outside a Drag Story Hour event in Manhattan hosted by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Sunday. One man was arrested while another’s face appeared to have been bloodied.

According to The New York Post, some 40 protesters and more than 100 supporters gathered outside New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (commonly referred to as The Center), where James was hosting the event co-sponsored by non-profit Drag Story Hour NYC.

Video of the clash posted to Twitter on Sunday shows one anti-LGBTQ+ protester in a gold mask being arrested. Rolling Stone reports that 53-year-old Robert Porco was charged with one count of assault.

Another clip shows a man in a Proud Boys sweatshirt being escorted away from the scene by NYPD officers as counter-protesters shout “Go home” and “Proud Boys not welcome in New York.” He’s joined by another man who says he is an EMT and appears to have blood on his face.

A group of Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis also joined the anti-LGBTQ+ protesters.

Despite the chaos outside, the scene inside The Center was very different. According to out city council member Erik Bottcher, a couple dozen children and their families gathered to hear drag performers read stories.

“It was like any other story hour. It just happened to be read by a colorful character in a costume,” Bottcher said. “And the idea that this is going to make kids want to grow up to be drag queens is ludicrous.”

In a tweet following the event, James described Drag Story Hour as “a fun opportunity to get our kids excited about reading.”

Fueled by anti-LGBTQ+ misinformation on social media, over the past year, drag queen story hours and other family friendly LGBTQ+ events featuring drag performers have become a target for far-right groups like the Proud Boys as well Republican politicians. Earlier this month, Tennessee became the first state to pass a law intended to ban drag performances in public spaces. Similar legislation has been introduced in state houses across the country.

Following Sunday’s event in Manhattan, James’s office released a statement saying that part of the point of the Drag Story Hour at The Center was to “condemn hate and combat rampant disinformation.”

“The recent rise in anti-LGBTQ+ protests, rhetoric, and policies has left New Yorkers — myself included — devastated and disappointed,” she said. “But I know better than anyone that when the choice is between love and hate, between joy and venom, New Yorkers will always choose love, and New Yorkers will always choose joy.”

Outside The Center, Bottcher told reporters, “We are overwhelming their hate, with our love, support and positivity.”

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