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Far-right Thwarted by Drag Queen Story Hour Supporters With Umbrellas

Far-right Thwarted by Drag Queen Story Hour Supporters With Umbrellas

A man is having a contentious conversation with a person holding a sign.

Members of the group Parasol Patrol successfully blocked extremists at drag queen events across the national capital region.

Within a week of the Proud Boys’ violent attack on supporters outside a Maryland Drag Queen Story Hour, two Washington, D.C.-area communities teamed up with their residents to protect kids from right-wing extremists.

Hundreds of supporters and dozens of Metropolitan Police officers gathered in Capitol Hill outside Crazy Aunt Helen’s, an LGBTQ+ eatery, where drag queen Tara Hoot was expected to read to children on Saturday morning as part of a Drag Queen Story Hour brunch.

On social media, there was a buzz about the Proud Boys — a white supremacist group with a history of disrupting similar events — trying to interfere with the bimonthly drag story hour brunch.

“Our LGBTQ+ Liaison Unit has been in contact with Crazy Aunt Helen’s for support and providing available resources,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson told The Advocate during the event. “Our members are currently there providing support as well.”

To fend off the protesters, allies and residents from the area had arrived in overwhelming numbers, organized by the Parasol Patrol — a group that appears at LGBTQ+ events and shields children from protesters using colorful umbrellas.

An area of the restaurant’s block was closed off by D.C. police. Proud Boys in black and yellow clothing were spotted on Eighth Street, but no confrontation occurred.

According to the DC police spokesperson, no arrests were made, and the streets were reopened after the event around 12:15 p.m.

On Sunday, Parasol Patrol DMV again gathered supporters in Olney, about 20 miles north of Washington, D.C.

At the Olney Library, where a Drag Queen Story Hour was scheduled, supporters of the LGBTQ+ community formed a barrier with their bodies and rainbow-colored umbrellas between detractors and the entrance of the building.

Twitter videos show protesters trying to disrupt the event, but they are outnumbered and outmatched by rainbow-clad supporters.

At several points in the videos, conservative detractors complained that their First Amendment rights were being violated by those who opposed their access to the event.

Videographer Ford Fischer reported that a confrontation became physical at one point, but no charges resulted.

“A man holding an anti-drag sign approached police after a confrontation turned physical, but declined when asked if he’d like to make a report,” Fisher wrote alongside a video of the situation.

Montgomery County Police officials present appeared prepared for the kinds of arguments those on the far-right would attempt to make to gain access to the building, and officers mediated a primarily peaceful event.

Earlier this month, Chaya Raichik’s Libs of TikTok targeted the library for hosting Drag Queen Story Hour in conjunction with a local production of the broadway hit Kinky Boots, which tells the story of a shoe factory owner’s unlikely encounter and friendship with a drag queen whose shoe designs save the struggling business.

“To promote a new show called “Kinky Boots,” a theater and public library in M.D. are partnering to hold a drag event for “all ages, especially toddlers, preschoolers” This library receives millions in funding. Our tax dollars are funding drag events & sexual themed plays for kids,” Libs of TikTok wrote.

In Silver Spring, families with small children gathered at Loyalty Books for a Drag Queen Story Hour event the previous weekend as far-right protesters marched outside.

When the Proud Boys and LGBTQ+ supporters clashed, one person sustained a facial injury. However, counterprotesters with Parasol Patrol DMV shielded the bookstore's entrance with colorful umbrellas and pride flags to prevent children from being injured, and the event inside continued as planned without incident.

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