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Get ready for a massive queer dance party outside Mike Pence’s house
An LGBTQ group in D.C. has organized a fun, peaceful protest for Wednesday.
Days before the Women’s March on Washington is set to take place in D.C., a smaller act of peaceful protest will be congregating—and perhaps booty shaking—in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
The gay rights group behind the event, WERK For Peace, has organized a “Queer Dance Party” to take place on the streets outside of Pence’s temporary D.C. home on Jan. 18. WERK describes itself as a “grassroots movement using dance to promote peace,” and according to its Facebook page promoting the event, the protest will start at the Friendship Heights Metro station and make its way to Pence’s home. It will also include the family-friendly aspects of queer nightlife, like rainbow gear and, of course, biodegradable glitter.
Pence has a dangerous record on LGBTQ rights. Unlike Trump, Pence has had a long career in government, and his stances on LGBTQ protections have been consistently anti-equality. Most recently, Pence is known for signing the Religious Freedoms Restoration Act, which permits discrimination against LGBTQ people on the basis of religious freedom in the state of Indiana.
Many are worried that Pence’s stance on North Carolina’s HB2 bill suggests he will do little to protect LGBTQ rights on the federal level. He has also supported conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth, inciting fear in many of the most vulnerable in the queer community.
Wednesday’s party is not the first protest WERK has organized. In September, WERK orchestrated a similar protest via a flash mob to call upon Congress to act on gun violence. In fact, WERK For Peace started as a result of the Orlando massacre, where 49 LGBTQ people were killed while at a queer nightclub.
As organizers note on the “about” section of their Facebook page, “The queer community has always been at the forefront of promoting change, and from Stonewall to Pulse, dance is integral to our movement, and to our healing.”
Marissa Higgins is the editor of Green Matters. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, Salon, NPR, and elsewhere.