Children’s LGBTQ Pride event at library disrupted by proud boys, police respond


The Star News

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office deputies on Tuesday responded to a demonstration during a LGBTQ community Pride event for children at a local library.

According to a Wednesday news release from the sheriff’s office, the Pine Valley branch of the New Hanover County library held a Pride story time event Tuesday in a private room of the library.

During the event, a small group of “demonstrators” assembled in the parking lot and eventually entered the library. According to photos posted on social media, the demonstrators appear dressed similarly to members of the far-right group, the Cape Fear Proud Boys, who attended several New Hanover County school board meetings in recent months.

The Proud Boys wear trademark black-and-yellow clothing and cover their faces with black masks. Earlier this month in Washington, the U.S. Justice Department charged five of the group’s members with seditious conspiracy in the Jan 6. attack in the U.S. Capitol.

A flyer advertising Tuesday’s event at the Pine Valley library described it as an “inclusive story time featuring LGBTQIA+ stories to celebrate all families.” The in-person event was geared toward children under 7 years old accompanied by adults.

Emily Jones said she took her 17-month-old daughter to the event.

“I felt like with the groups of people that are infiltrating these events, various Pride events, I felt like this story time was really one of the safest places I could take my daughter for a Pride event,” Jones said. “I just felt like it’s the library, it’s probably pretty low-risk.”

When she arrived, a few demonstrators were already outside dressed in plain clothes. Some held signs, Jones said, with messages written across them claiming “LGBT is grooming our kids” and “the library is responsible for child abuse.”

Jones said she was immediately nervous.

Six kids and four parents attended the event, Jones said, and an estimated 15 demonstrators showed up. The event proceeded for about 20 minutes, before the group entered the library, she said.