LGBT activists will welcome Vice President Mike Pence’s arrival to Columbus, Ohio, with a queer dance party Friday.
The event, titled the Big LGBTQ Dance Party, will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. just outside the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, where Pence will speak about Donald Trump's tax cuts at an event hosted by America First Policies, a conservative nonprofit group that promotes the agenda of the Trump administration.
The party is the LGBT community’s way of trolling Pence, who has a recorded history of supporting policies that harm the LGBT community as a congressman and as governor of Indiana. As governor he signed the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which opponents said would constitute license to discriminate against LGBT people and was eventually amended. In Congress supported amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, opposed the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," and voted against LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes legislation. During his term as vice president, he has reportedly been the architect of the administration's anti-LGBT policies, including its efforts to ban military service by transgender people.
The dance party, which is cosponsored by ProgessOhio and will feature DJ Moxy and drag queens Sable Coate and Virginia West, is not the first queer party to be staged in anticipation of Pence.
Last year, a group called Werk for Peace to host the Queer Dance Party at Mike Pence’s House. The event, which attracted 200 people, took place in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where Pence had rented a home prior to the January inauguration.
"Dance as a form of protest is a really powerful form of protest, especially in the queer community because dance and the dance floor has always been a sacred space for us," Werk for Peace founder Firas Nasr told The Advocate at the time. "It's been a safe space, a space for self expression, for connection, for love, for self-love, so Werk for Peace is taking the dance floor to the streets and assert that we are queer, we are here, and we will dance."
Last December, Pence and his family visited Aspen, Colo., for the holidays, only to be trolled by his neighbors with flags that read “Make America Gay Again.”