Thugs break into gay politician’s apartment building over Drag Queen Story Hour: ‘Pure hate, unmasked’

A gay New York City council member’s office and home were vandalised with homophobic slurs after he expressed his support for a Drag Queen Story Hour event. 

Erik Bottcher tweeted that vandals claiming to be “Gays Against Groomers” broke into both his office and his apartment buildings and vandalised them in what he called an act of “pure hate”. 

“We will not be cowed. We will not be silenced. We will continue to stand up against hate,” he wrote on Monday (19 December), along with photos of the vandalised hallway.

Bottcher said that two members of the group were arrested shortly after. 

“Tonight the Drag Story Hour protesters came to my apartment building and gained entry,” Bottcher tweeted.

“My super called the cops and two of them were arrested for trespassing.

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“This is pure hate, unmasked. If they think this is going to intimidate us, they’re mistaken. Our resolve is strengthened.”

The incidents come days after Bottcher supported a Drag Queen Story Hour event at the New York City Public Library, after the Gays Against Groomers group attempted to shut the event down.

Erik Bottcher described the protests against drag being shown to children as “pure hatred and bigotry”. 

“Today I witnessed pure hatred and bigotry outside Drag Queen Story Hour at a public library in Chelsea,” he tweeted.

“Inside, I witnessed a loving and peaceful reading of children’s books to kids.”

He filmed several protesters outside the event, with one holding a sign reading, “there are only two genders”.

The incidents in New York are just part of a wider trend of attacks against drag shows in recent months, with LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD confirming that there has now been a horrifying 142 attacks on drag shows in the US in 2022.

GLAAD’s report from Friday (16 December) indicated that only three states in the entire country had not reported attacks on drag shows and events over the past year. 

The state of Texas has the highest number of anti-drag attacks per state, with at least 20 reported incidents targeting drag events in the region.

“A number of incidents involved violence or weapons,” the report read. “Extremist groups like the proud Boys, Patriot Front, and local white supremacist chapters were involved in several incidents.”

GLAAD attributed several of the incidents to the rise of right-wing media outlets pushing LGBTQ+ conspiracies and misinformation.

“The outlets and accounts often misrepresented what would occur at upcoming drag events, spinning them as harmful to children,” the group wrote.

“Protests or threats would follow.”

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