This year's Pride Month has been marked by a number of attacks on members of the LGBTQ community, and the San Francisco Chronicle reports that it's making many people fearful of doing public events such as Drag Queen Story Hour.
Bay Area resident Per Sia, for one, tells the Chronicle that she's felt anxious about doing story hours in recent days after learning about the Proud Boys gang targeting such events in the area.
Additionally, event organizers have started giving readers instructions for how to stay safe in case of an emergency, which she has also found unnerving.
“I guess now that’s going to be sort of the norm,” she tells the Chronicle. “When you think about it, you’re like, ‘I’m just reading to kids.’ And while I’m so appreciative of these extra measures, it was a little traumatizing.”
Yves Saint Croissant, a founding member of Drag Queen Story Hour, tells the Chronicle that she long thought she'd be safe from harassment living in a city such as San Francisco that has a long history championing LGBTQ rights.
“Because we’re in San Francisco, and we’re in such a bubble, I kind of took for granted that it wouldn’t happen to anybody here,” she says. “I think there is just a lot of anxiety in the community.”
While Drag Queen Story Hours have been going on throughout the United States for years now, they've only recently become targeted by groups who falsely claim that the purpose of such events is to "groom" children for sexual abuse.