June 7 homophobic protesters showed up to demonstrate against Drag Queen Story Hour at the Petaluma Library. June 12 Petaluma Proud Boys trashed the Brew, a popular and outspoken coffee house in Santa Rosa that sports rainbows year-round, before the Proud Boys went on to drop off gay-hate flyers at Santa Rosa Junior College and several businesses nearby. Clearly reactionary forces feel threatened by LGBTQI people.
To celebrate Pride month, the Sonoma County Library offered four days of Drag Queen Story Hour at four different branches. When some repressive Christians at the Victory Outreach Church heard about this, they created a group called Save Our Sonoma. They said this was to protect the children. Protecting the children has been used as an excuse to prevent inter-racial marriage, integrated schools, gay marriage, gay adoptions and now, storybook time. Repressive forces repeatedly use children as an excuse to crush those they fear. Anti LGBTQI activism is certainly not limited to Sonoma County. So far this year over 500 anti-LGBTQI and anti-Trans laws have been introduced nationally with nearly 50 becoming law.
To promote their agenda Save Our Sonoma organized a protest, which was met with counter protests. They did this at four different branches of our public library over the weekend of June 17 and 18. I attended the final demonstration at the central branch as a counter protester. Their demonstration outside of the library was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Story time inside was scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Going to the counter protest didn’t know if I’d be alone or not. When I arrived at 2:30 p.m. there were perhaps 20 Christian Nationalist and at least 60 counter demonstrators, including people from the Party for Socialism and Liberation, North Bay Organizing Project, KWTF radio and countless others. Many were sporting some kind of rainbow. Save Our Sonoma said they were protecting our children from gay groomers. Of course, this is nonsense as there are no gay groomers.
For about an hour they chanted how Jesus loves us and that’s why we should hate the sin of trans life, I think. They had very few cogent arguments. I asked one of the Christian Nationalists how many drag queen story readers had been arrested for child molestation. There were none. Then I asked the same question about the clergy. I got prayed at. The Christian Nationalists chanted and prayed at people. We chanted back. While they claimed to be protecting the lives of children, we were protecting the rights of all people, some of who are trans or gay children. Although people were sometimes chest-to-chest, there was no violence. After some 45 minutes the Christian Nationalists retreated across the street. By that time there were six of them. Story hour continued uninterrupted and pre-sexual children marveled at the glittery magic of the drag queen storyteller.
Since then, the Victory Outreach Church applied for funds under AB 1664 to build a fence around their church. They will receive two payments of $200,000 each for this fence. These funds were intended to protect houses of worship from gunmen. No one has threatened Victory Outreach Church. They assault our library and then act like they are the victim.
When human rights are under attack what do we do is stand up and fight back.
Some places you can turn to for support include Trans Life at translifeconference.org, Positive Images at posimages.org and Sonoma County Pride at sonomacountypride.org
Source for the update: KPIX on YouTube 7/10/23