Column: Mike Pence's LGBT dance party
Mike Pence, newly-elected Vice President of the United States of America.
Last week, LGBTQ activists danced in the neighborhood where Vice President Mike Pence was renting a house. Protesting and marching usually consists of angry activists wanting to make a change, but these activists were standing in unity having a great time as they danced to popular music. The “Queer Dance Party at Mike Pence’s House,” as it was known on Facebook, came days before President Donald Trump was expected to be sworn into office, along with Vice President Pence.
Pence is well-known for his vocal disapproval of LGBTQ rights. In 2006, he supported a constitutional amendment that would make it clearly defined that marriage be between man and woman. He then said that being gay was a choice and that not allowing gays to marry wasn’t discriminatory but “God’s idea.” In 2007, he voted against The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have banned discrimination against someone’s sexual orientation. Pence also has said that soldiers should not openly identify themselves as gay and rejected the Obama Administration’s directive on transgender bathrooms.
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Unfortunately, Pence and his wife were having dinner with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during the dance party. Though Pence wasn’t home at the time, activists continued to have fun. Joanna Pratt, a neighbor who lives across Pence’s rental home, showed her support and joined the party with her husband.
Who knows what Pence thought about the whole thing.
“We are here tonight to send a clear message to Daddy Pence that we will not tolerate bigotry and hate in our country,” organizer Firas Nasr said to activists. Nasr founded “Werk for Peace,” a queer-based grassroots movement that uses dance to promote peace. The movement started just after the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.
Nearly 200 people showed up to the neighborhood party to show their support or to celebrate who they are. Being different is a beautiful thing. Everyone is unique in their own way, and the fact that Vice President Pence can’t accept that just shows lack of judgement. Pence and President Trump would make the perfect couple with his bitter attitude toward the LGBTQ community and Trump’s irrational logic about everything from repealing the Affordable Care Act to the Mexican border.
The LGBTQ community has struggled to keep their presence known and to continue to live their daily life while dealing with backlash and hateful remarks. They stood up for their right marriage, to adopt, to work, to do anything any normal human can do. The constant battle isn’t over for them.
The fact that they threw a massive dance party and shamelessly danced in front of Vice President Pence’s home, a man they know who outright disagrees with their viewpoints, shows that they aren’t afraid of what anyone says.
The LGBTQ community needs to continue to take a stand. In fact, everyone needs to take a stand. With how quickly Trump has started signing executive orders, it’s time for minorities to take a stand. The LGBTQ dance party last week and the Women’s March this past weekend are perfect example of what needs to happen, but they need to happen more frequently.
Taking a stand needs to be consistent. We have to show President Trump and Vice President Pence that we won’t tolerate their hate.
Let’s throw a massive dance party to show our unity, to show that we are in this together and to show that we won’t let hate, discrimination, ignorance and bad judgement take away our right to be who we are as individuals. Right now, it’s important to show love, to show compassion, to show support to everyone. We all need to love ourselves and everything that makes us who we are.
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