This weekend dozens of LGBTQ protestors and allies descended on the front steps of the Texas capitol building in Austin for the second annual Queer Dance Freak Out in protest of the state’s anti-LGBTQ politics and the November re-election campaign of conservative Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
The party — organized by local DJs Ezra Edwards and DJ Jeremy von Stilb and and local activist Becca Hyatt — happened on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m. The day festivities included remixes of The Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men,” Peaches’ “Fuck the Pain Away” and performances by Texas drag queens.
Co-organizer von Stilb told Metro Weekly that the first “Queer Dance Freak Out” in 2017 was inspired by a similar dance party that activists with WERK for Peace and DisruptJ20 held outside of Vice President Mike Pence’s temporary Washington, D.C. residence just before Trump’s inauguration.
Some of the activists stressed the importance of voting for Cruz’s progressive opponent Beto O’Rourke in Texas’ March 6 primaries. The protest was also attended by Erica Nix, an Austin activist, fitness instructor and performer who specializes in group dances and the occasional cheeky sex-themed group workouts.
Here’s a video of the second annual Queer Dance Freak Out:
Some criticized organizers for not holding their dance party in front of Cruz’s office, but von Stilb says the office is gated and doing the dance party during workday office hours wasn’t feasible.
He also added, “It’s not about necessarily thinking we’re going to change any politician’s mind through a dance party…. It’s more about sending a message and getting attention, and kicking off a series of events leading up to the election.”
Here’s are more videos from the second annual Queer Dance Freak Out:
What do you think of the Austin Queer Dance Freak Out? Sound off in the comments.
Featured image by Jana Birchum via The Austin Chronicle