Placeholder Image photo credit: Noah Abrams/KRCB
Protestors and counter-protestors gathered outside
the Central Santa Rosa Library Sunday.

Hateful rhetoric, verbal and sometimes physical confrontations have marked Drag Story Hour events across the US - and Sonoma County is hardly immune.

The libraries in Windsor and Central Santa Rosa witnessed the latest round of pickets and protest over controversial Drag Story Hour events on Sunday, June 18th.

The picket and counter protest were mostly without incident according to Windsor Police Chief Mike Raasch.

"From my understanding, talking to the sergeant was, uh, fairly, um, peaceful, uneventful," Raasch said.

Save for one minor disturbance.

"From my understanding the gentleman wanted to go into the room where the Drag Story Hour was being conducted, and he didn't have a child with him, so they didn't want him to go in the room," Raasch said. "He was asking a bunch of questions, refusing to leave, so they called us. A few of the deputies went over there, spoke with him, and he was cooperative and ended up leaving."

At the Central Santa Rosa Library most of the nearly 30 protestors dispersed by the event’s 4 P.M. end.

A small contingent stood on the corners of 3rd and E streets, holding signs and exchanging occasional verbal barbs with attendees.

The much larger contingent of LGBT supporters responded with cheers and chants, and declared victory over the picketers.

Griffon, an LGBT supporter who joined the protests said it feels exhausting to keep having to fight for rights, safety, and recognition for LGBT community members decade after decade.

"It's really hurtful," Griffon said. "It's really upsetting to see people and people who don't see past that ignorance or bigotry or don't understand what they're, what they're talking about."

Griffon said despite the pain of prejudice from picketers, the show of support feels broadly galvanizing.

"It does kind of rally people together, and part of this is just seeing people in community," Griffon said. "It’s wonderful."


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