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Nancy Pelosi Makes Surprise Visit to DC’s Little Gay Pub in Tribute to LGBTQ+ Community

Nancy Pelosi Makes Surprise Visit to DC’s Little Gay Pub in Tribute to LGBTQ+ Community

Nanci Pelosi at the Little Gay Pub
Photos by Thomas Cluderay

Her unannounced appearance left patrons delighted, the LGBTQ+ community celebrated and she even took one of those famous bathroom selfies.


In a quietly remarkable moment on a bustling Tuesday evening, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi made a surprise appearance at a gay bar that has become a popular hotspot for locals and visitors alike in the short time since it’s been open.

Situated at the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Logan Circle community, the Little Gay Pub (also known as LGP) has earned a reputation as a beloved and welcoming space known for its ornate bathroom, a social media sensation. Owners Dusty Martinez, Benjamin Gander, and Dito Sevilla opened the trendy bar in March.

One of the distinctive features of LGP is its art-adorned bathrooms, which have become selfie spots. Unbeknownst to the owners, an Instagram page dedicated to LGP bathroom selfies emerged, lending quirky fame to the pub.

The visit was a well-kept secret, a testament to LGP’s desire to maintain a sense of authenticity amid its newfound popularity. Sevilla shared insights into how the visit unfolded.

“When we opened LGP, she was always on our little guest list of people who wanted to see it,” Sevilla explained.

After months of discussions with her staff, a plan finally materialized, leading to her visit.

Pelosi’s Tuesday had been packed with legislative commitments, including voting and handling procedural matters. Sevilla marveled at her relentless dedication, saying, “Her schedule is really so exhausting. I can’t fathom it.”

Word of Pelosi’s impending arrival eventually made it to the patrons who were already there.

“We didn’t advertise it at all. I posted that she was five minutes out when they told me she was five minutes out, but that was the one piece of warning we gave,” Sevilla noted.

During her visit, Pelosi indulged in the unique LGP tradition of capturing a bathroom selfie.

“My mother softened the blow by saying [the bathroom selfie] was something that everyone did. Of course, [Pelosi] had been briefed on it and was extremely curious,” Sevilla recalled.

Reflecting on Pelosi’s visit, Sevilla underscored her significance as an LGBTQ+ icon and her steadfast support for the community.

“She’s very nice, and we have an incredible cordial relationship. She’s extremely supportive, and I think it just speaks to who she is,” Sevilla said.

The former Speaker marveled at the artwork on the bar's ceiling, which traces the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Pelosi herself is featured a couple of times.

Martinez shared the journey of the Little Gay Pub and the emotions surrounding Pelosi’s visit. Reflecting on the inception of the pub, Martinez revealed a 15-year camaraderie with his co-owners.

He said that the absence of a dedicated museum or space to celebrate the queer community’s shared experiences and history in D.C. propelled them to create LGP.

“We just wanted to create a space where you could meet new people; you can bring your old friends here; you can celebrate people in our community through all of our wall art, our ceiling art, all the hodge-podge of our history, not just Washington DC’s queer history. It’s all of our history,” Martinez explained.

Martinez said her visit was not the result of a marketing stunt but an organic interest in visiting the community-driven space, as hinted during a past conversation between The Advocate and Pelosi. In April, Pelosi told The Advocate during an event at UCLA Law School’s Williams Institute that she knew of the new space and looked forward to seeing it.

Pelosi’s visit left an enduring mark on the Little Gay Pub. Her portrait and a note are now prominently displayed on the pub’s walls, alongside those of other iconic LGBTQ+ leaders.

She told The Advocate on Wednesday that she was grateful for the Little Gay Pub and its role in the LGBTQ+ community.

“It was a thrill last night to stop by The Little Gay Pub: a beautiful, joyful, and vibrant community space made possible by my fabulous friends, Dito, Ben, and Dusty!” she said.

She continued, “For many decades, it has been my privilege to fight for full equality alongside so many fierce advocates, especially those from my hometown of San Francisco. We have made tremendous progress — but sadly today, our trans community, especially children, are under dangerous right-wing assault.”

Acting as the selfie photographer for Pelosi, Martinez described piling into the pub’s famous bathroom with one of the most powerful women in the world.

“Her team was happy to help her. We went in there, and it was just so amazing that she is so iconic,” Martinez said.

Pelosi, in turn, highlighted the trio of queer business owners.

“In my toast to Dito, Ben, and Dusty, “Pelosi said,” I thanked them and the LGBTQ+ community for their patriotism in advancing freedom for themselves and, therefore, all of America.”

Lead Image: Nancy Pelosi speaking to patrons at the Little Gay Pub. Then, Pelosi, alongside Benjamin Gander, Dito Sevilla, and Dusty Martinez.

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