Every Month is Pride Month
Alameda County Library
In response to a Proud Boys attack on a Drag Storytime at San Lorenzo Library, Alameda County Library launched “Every Month is Pride Month,” a year of drag storytimes, and other highly visible LGBTQIA+ programming, including a Name and Gender Marker Change Clinic. Supported by our community, we transformed the way Alameda County responds to hate.
During a Pride Month Drag Storytime, a group of Proud Boys stormed San Lorenzo Library. They disrupted the event and shouted hateful slurs at the performer, staff and attendees. The incident left everyone questioning how to move forward. With the support of Alameda County Supervisor Dave Brown, we doubled down on our vision of Kind, Connected Humans and created a year of LGBTQIA+ programming, proclaiming Every Month is Pride Month. This programming was welcoming to all, community based and kept safety top of mind.
Key Elements of Innovation
EMPM provided a year of programming supporting our LGBTQIA+ community including:
- Presentations by queer authors, filmmakers, and local Youth Poet Laureates
- Drag Storytime
- LGBTQIA+ crafts
- Name and Gender Marker Change Clinic
We’ve reached out to new partners and reevaluated old ones. We’ve developed ways to respond quickly to crises and redesigned safety and media policies to better protect our patrons and staff. We’ve taken a hateful act and transformed it into kindness, connection and community pride.
Our three goals:
- The community cares about its LGBTQIA+ members
- The LGBTQIA+ community sees the library as a trusted partner
- Library staff feel heard and safeguarded
Since starting EMPM, we’ve seen a large, diverse community of members attend these programs, often wearing visible signs of support. We’ve developed new partnerships with local LGBTQIA+ organizations, poets, and performers including a new partnership with Drag Story Hour. Lastly, the most impacted staff are energized to expand EMPM countywide.