At least three LGBT Republican sponsored events, including a “Deplora-Ball,” are scheduled to take place in or near Washington during the Jan. 20 weekend when Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.
The national gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans says it will host an LGBT Republican lobby day on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Jan. 19, in which Log Cabin members from throughout the country will visit the offices of their senators and representatives.
Gregory T. Angelo, president of the group, said Log Cabin will also host an LGBT “T” Party on Saturday, Jan. 21, the day following the Trump inauguration, at the Capitol Hill Club, which is located within the Republican National Committee’s headquarters complex.
“We are having what we are playfully branding a T Party, with T, of course, standing for Trump,” Angelo told the Washington Blade.
He said the event would be a cocktail reception where tea as well as alcohol will be served.
In what is likely to be the most eye-catching LGBT Republican event during the inaugural weekend, a North Carolina-based organization called Gays for Trump is organizing an Inaugural DeploraBall Gala on the inaugural evening of Jan. 20. It will be held at the upscale Bolger Center Hotel in Potomac, Md.
Gays for Trump President Peter Boykin has said in postings on the group’s Facebook site that all “deplorables” who supported Trump during the tumultuous presidential campaign — both gay and straight — are invited to attend the event. He was referring to the term “deplorables” that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used to describe some Trump supporters.
Many Trump supporters later embraced the term as a badge of honor.
“Come one, come all to our Inaugural DeploraBall extravaganza!” says one of the Gays for Trump Facebook postings. “With top-notch performers, open bar, 3 course gourmet plated dinner and an enthusiastic crowd, it’s sure to be a good time.”
A separate website promoting the DeploraBall says the admission fee is $250 and the suggested attire is black tie optional.
“This special event is open to EVERYONE on the Trump Train and is graciously being hosted by the Gays for Trump organization,” a message on the site says. “In support of America’s veterans we are awarding a number of gratis tickets as a thank you for their service,” it says.
Chris Allen, president of the Log Cabin Republicans Washington, D.C. chapter, said his group is planning to host a happy hour gathering on Thursday night, Jan. 19, on the eve of the Trump inauguration, for Log Cabin members arriving in D.C. from across the country to attend the official inaugural events.
He said the D.C. chapter had yet to determine a location for the event as of late Tuesday, but it is tentatively set to be held on the 19th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Jose Cunningham, the openly gay chair of the D.C. Republican Party, said he, Jill Homan, the lesbian Republican National Committeewoman for D.C., and Robert Kabel, the gay Republican National Committeeman for D.C., have been invited to attend the Trump inaugural swearing in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.
Cunningham said the Trump Inaugural Committee also provided the three with tickets to watch the Inaugural Parade at one of the reviewing stands lining Pennsylvania Avenue and invited them to one of the three official Inaugural Balls.
Angelo said he expects several dozen if not more Log Cabin Republicans from all parts of the country to be attending the official inaugural events during the weekend of Jan. 20, with many of them expected to participate in the Log Cabin lobby day and T Party.
Although Log Cabin Republicans chose not to endorse Trump during the election campaign, Angelo pointed to a statement the group released on the day following Trump’s election night victory.
“While we’ve had occasional differences with Mr. Trump throughout his unique campaign for our nation’s highest office, Log Cabin Republicans never hesitated to offer praise when it was due,” the statement says. “Mr. Trump’s unprecedented and repeated overtures to ‘the LGBTQ community’ were invariably lauded by our organization, and we look forward to seeing those words turn to action in a Trump administration.”
The statement adds, “As the country’s original and largest organization of LGBT Republicans and straight allies, we stand united behind our next president, optimistic for the future, and committed to ‘Make America Great Again’!”
Boykin of Gays for Trump couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Various postings on the Gays for Trump website state that Boykin emerged as an active and visible supporter of Trump during the campaign. Among other things, the group raised money for its own Trump for President billboard signs installed along streets and highways in North Carolina and in Orlando, Fla., which included the message, “Paid for by Gays for Trump.”
The group’s website postings suggest that it would continue to operate beyond the election and the inauguration but the Washington Blade couldn’t find any postings saying what the group plans to do going forward.