SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — At least six drag events have been disrupted across the state of California since the start of 2022, according to a new report released by Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, an LGBTQIA+ media advocacy organization.
There have been 124 incidents reported by the media across the U.S. involving anti-LGBTQ protests and threats which targeted drag events, according to the GLAAD report. Most of the incidents were reported during Pride festivities throughout June and September, and they continued through November.
While many of the incidents were reported in smaller cities and towns in the South and Midwest, a number also took place in areas with higher LGBTQ populations and LGBTQ-inclusive communities.GLAAD Report
Violent rhetoric and incidents at drag events have increased as the year has progressed, according to GLAAD. The report also highlights the growing amount of anti-drag legislation being introduced.
In the past two weeks, legislation aimed against public drag performance was introduced in state legislatures in Tennessee and Texas. GLAAD says a total of eight anti-drag bills have been proposed this year.
An analysis of news reports showed that incidents targeting drag events took place in 47 U.S. states. According to the report, Texas had the most drag events that were targeted in 2022. North Carolina reported nine incidents, while Illinois had eight. Tennessee and California each saw six drag events targeted so far in 2022, while Georgia had five.
- Texas – 10
- North Carolina – 9
- Illinois – 8
- Tennessee – 6
- California – 6
- Georgia – 5
The GLAAD report comes only five months after a group of Proud Boys stormed into a drag queen story time event for children at a library in San Lorenzo, California. A host at the event, Drag Queen Panda Dulce, said that 8-10 people marched into the library and accused her of raping children. Local sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene to de-escalate the situation. Police have opened a hate crime investigation into the occurrence.
In Southern California in late March, a suspected hate crime after a weekly drag show in Pasadena sent three people to the hospital. A victim in the incident said that a group of 8-10 men had surrounded him, his nephew and his friend before attacking them.
In September, another drag event was disturbed in Northern California, this time, in the South Bay city of Campbell. The bookstore received several complaints leading up to the event, so the organizers asked local LBGTQIA+ community members to show up in support. Though Campbell police were called to the scene to keep the peace, the department determined that no laws had been broken.
GLAAD used news reports across all 50 states and U.S. military bases to search for protests that targeted drag events. The team also looked for information on drag events that had to reschedule or cancel altogether after threats or “severe criticism.” GLAAD pointed out that because news reports were the organization’s sole source, it is likely that the true incident count is higher.
The recent mass shooting that killed five people at a gay club in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Nov. 19 was not included in GLAAD’s report because the attacker’s motive had not been formally declared at the time of publish.