Washington, DC — A group of Christian evangelicals couldn’t have known what they were in for when they staked out DuPont Circle, the starting point of the Capital Pride March on Saturday.
If any of them had actually expected those people present to “save themselves from damnation,” as one man exhorted from a bullhorn, they must have been disappointed. Instead, hundreds cheered and danced along with a gyrating twerker in a G-string. Their giant wooden cross painted with “Repent & Believe” was met with two rubber penises stuck together in the form of a cross.
DC Evangelicals, a Christian group which spreads Biblical teaching through outreach, preached from two locations in DuPont Circle park while Pride participants gathered there for their annual June parade. They handed out cards entitled “The Good Test” admonishing readers to “examine their conscience” and “understand that [they] are sinners.”
But those celebrating Capital Pride Day were undeterred, drowning out them out with music. Some held rainbow flags and kissed.
“God loves you no matter what,” said a lesbian woman named Taylor. She held a rainbow flag before the preachers with her friend, Andy, partially blocking them.
For more than half an hour, dancer Qween Amor twerked to pop songs while wearing a wooden cross around his neck and a thin black G-string. Hundreds cheered and danced along while Qween mocked the evangelicals. “God is in everyone! You, me, them!” he yelled, pointing at the other dancing youth.
Qween said that dancing is liberating and a way to battle religious intolerance. “The American People, my (our) generation, need to rise up [with] a goal to bring people together and unite through diversity,” he said. “This is a revolution that needs to happen and it needs to happen now. We can show the entire world that love exists and what freedom really looks like.”
A 73-year-old gay man who identified himself simply as Riley, danced with the rubber penis cross. He said he had been witness to decades of struggle for gay rights and was glad he had lived to see gay youth “free to celebrate their lives in a free and open time in history.”
Several police officers were present but they did not intervene and no one was arrested.