Queer dance party outside Mike Pence's house pic.twitter.com/sQvlha4uGW— Infantry Snowflake (@CrappyMovies) January 19, 2017
Last night, Vice President-Elect Mike Pence had a legendary house party of Obama-esque proportions.
Not that he knew too much about it. But if he was unaware about the bash before, he certainly will have heard about it by now.
WERK for Peace, a queer-based grassroots organization founded after the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando, threw the party outside Pence’s house in Maryland in protest of his previous anti-LGBTQ positions. The result was glorious.
Hundreds of protesters turned up in a vast variety of colourful costumes, rainbow flags, and glow sticks. Previous Global Citizen Festival headliners Beyonce and Rihanna were blasted from car stereos, as a peaceful, powerful fiesta burst onto the quiet suburbs.
A statement posted on the Facebook event implored attendees to bring their “flyest rainbow gear and booty/body shaking skills.”
These are the streets outside Mike Pence's house in D.C., shut down by activists throwing a Queer Dance Party tonight. Pure jubilance. pic.twitter.com/GrJAgvSZBh— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) January 19, 2017
Protesters shouted “Daddy Pence, come dance!” as the night of revelry drew on. But Pence was celebrating elsewhere: at his own Inaugural Dinner with President-Elect Donald Trump.
Dance protest has arrived - now dancing a half a block from Mike Pence's rental house. Were chanting "Daddy Pence, come dance" pic.twitter.com/kaUEbUXxAC— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) January 19, 2017
“We are here today to take the streets as our dance floor," said organizer Firas Nasr. And he led by flamboyant example. In the words of Mic reporter Jack Smith: “if this video… doesn’t make you want to become a political organizer, nothing will.”
Police barred the way to Pence’s house, but did not make any attempt to stop the party. Since Pence moved into the area, rainbow flags could be seen proudly hanging from windows up and down the street, as Pence’s neighbors added their voices to widespread criticism of his previous positions on equality.
In 2015, Pence signed a bill allowing businesses in Indiana to refuse LGBT customers on the basis of religion. He’s repeatedly opposed same-sex marriage legislation, while controversy has engulfed his alleged support for conversion therapy — a practice that believes homosexuality is a sin that can be “cured” by intensive treatment.
Meanwhile, his infamous opposition to planned parenthood led to a huge surge of donations in his name. Even the cast of Hamilton waded into the debate, expressing concern that the Trump/Pence administration “will not protect” a “diverse America”.
This weekend, over a million people are due to march in solidarity with women all over the world in protest at the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. Dialogue will descend into dancing once more, as peaceful demonstrators find their feet to express ideas on the issues most important to them.
The pen may be mightier than the sword. But Pence will at least have a real fight on his hands cleaning up all the glitter and glow sticks.