With the fresh horror of the inauguration merely days away and a long, hard road ahead of all of us, members of the queer community kicked off what will be a weekend of protests and demonstrations around the country by staging a “Queer Dance Party” in front of Mike Pence’s house.
The Washington Post reports that a joyful, peaceful crowd of about 200 people marched towards Pence’s house in the Chevy Chase neighorhood in Washington D.C., blasting Beyoncé and dancing. “We are here tonight to send a clear message to Daddy Pence that we will not tolerate bigotry and hate in our country,” organizer Firas Nasr told the crowd before leading them towards Pence’s temporary home.
All accounts of the event painted a picture of a boisterous, happy protest. From CNN:
They handed out rainbow flags, assembled glow sticks, applied glitter and broke it down on the streets of suburban Maryland.
It was a diverse crowd of men and women and gender non-binary, LGBTQ and allies, young and old, Washingtonians and activists from faraway. They wore tutus, sparkly stilettos and spandex. There were light-up hula hoops and noisemakers and gold party hats to go around. One protester walked with a tray of high-protein snacks and condoms for her fellow marchers.
Pence, for what it’s worth, wasn’t home — he was hosting the Vice President-elect’s Inaugural Dinner at the National Portrait Gallery, an event that was probably just as joyless as it sounds.
The protestors wisely chose not to engage with the reportedly small group of Trump supporters near Pence’s house and residents of the neighborhood appeared to enjoy the scene for what it was. “I love the world,” Mary Ann Carmody, a 76 year old resident of the neighborhood told the Post. “It’s wonderful to see people on the street like this. We’re lucky we can do this.”
According to CNN, Nasr, who organized the event, is also the founder of Werk For Peace, a “queer-based grassroots movement that uses dance to promote peace.” The organization sprung up in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and has arranged various demonstrations around the country in its wake.
“We want to send a strong message to Pence that we’re a united queer community,” he told the Post. “We’ve always stood united. There’s always space to dance.”
Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Mike Pence’s temporary home is in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It is actually in the Chevy Chase neighborhood in Washington D.C.