As the nation’s capital prepares for the inauguration, a group of LGBT and ally demonstrators got the festivities started early with a queer dance party outside Mike Pence’s Chevy Chase home.
WERK for Peace and Disrupt J20 joined forces on the event, with participants meeting at the Friendship Heights Metro station at about 6pm Wednesday evening and then marching several miles to the Pence home. Many wore wigs, boas, unicorn horns and other accoutrement.
Though spirits were strong, the atmosphere remained peaceful throughout, with local police and Secret Service on hand.
“We had a dance protest in response to the bigotry and hate that Mike Pence purports through his policies and actions,” said WERK for Peace founder Firas Nasr. “We had hundreds of people come out to assert our bodies and space and state that we are here, we are queer, and we will dance.”
At one point, the group joined in a rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
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
Neighbors seemed mostly indifferent to the hullabaloo: “I love this,” 76-year-old Mary Ann Carmody told The Washington Post. “I love the world. It’s wonderful to see people on the street like this. We’re lucky we can do this.”
One spectator, a local high school student, carried an American flag as he watched the bacchanal unfold.
“I support their rights as the LGBT community, but I believe this is not exactly the way to go about bringing unity to the country,” he told Fox 5. “I believe this was a great demonstration by them and a great demonstration of their constitutional rights, but I believe we need to find a peaceful, more helpful way to come together as a united nation.”
Sadly, Pence was not at his home for the demonstration—he was attending an inaugural fundraiser at the National Portrait Gallery. He and his family are expected to move into the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory this week.