By Landry Harlan
BU News Service
Washington — There’s an inaugural ball for just about everyone in Washington D.C. Cowboys can attend the Black Tie & Boot’s Ball and those nostalgic for the 1920’s can do the Charleston at The Great Gatsby Presidential Inaugural Ball. Yet, only one ball calls itself the “gayest gala in D.C.,” the DeploraBall.
“To quote RuPaul, as LGBT people we don’t always get to choose our family but I choose you guys. You’re my family,” featured speaker Scott Ryan Pressler said to a crowd of roughly 200 at the Inaugural DeploraBall Friday night.
Attendees decked out in evening gowns and “Make America Great Again” hats mingled and nibbled on filet mignon in the Bolger Center in Potomac, Maryland, for the second DeploraBall of inauguration weekend. The first was Thursday night’s event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“DeploraBall” is a reference to Hillary Clinton’s infamous remark calling Trump voters a “basket of deplorables,” a moniker many supporters now wear as a badge of honor.
The event was hosted by and benefited the Gays for Trump organization in support of America’s Veterans. It included a silent auction and speaker Scott Pressler, an organizer employed by the Republican Party of Virginia.
Pressler is known for his outspoken support for Donald Trump and his ownership of the hash tag #GaysForTrump on Twitter. Just a week ago, Pressler tweeted: “Our #GaysForTrump Ball is Historic: 1st time LGBTQ community & straight allies will celebrate an incoming GOP President. #TrumpNoir”
The allies that showed up were the most unexpected surprises of the night. One was Czech right-libertarian politician and President of Liberland Vít Jedlička. Liberland is a micro-nation created in 2015 in the ongoing dispute between Croatia and Serbia, and Jedlička joked to the crowd that they, “could have double citizenship.”
Off to the sides of the ballroom were about 20 items for a silent auction that included framed photographs of celebrities various celebrities. One of the most popular was a photo of a younger Donald Trump with Michael Jackson. That one had two sign ups.
About halfway through, the emcee announced the arrival of a special, “huge” guest and the crowd looked around excitedly, unsure if the new president would actually attend their party. Instead it was Trump impersonator and manager of celebrity impersonators Dustin Gold, called the “Don King of Political Impersonators” by The New Yorker.
“The thing with Trump is people love him and people hate him because he’s brash. You don’t have to change the material,” said Gold, chuckling.
At this point one of the event organizers passed out programs mentioning that the event was run by Warfare Media, a group working to build a spaceport in the Congo. When asked, no one seemed to have concrete details. The group currently has 31 followers on Twitter and hasn’t updated their Facebook since early December of last year.
By 10:30 p.m., DJ Boyfriend kicked off the dance party and the sounds of Ariana Grande persuaded about 10 attendees onto the dance floor. After a few songs, one dancer removed his shirt and used Facebook Live to document it. About half of the crowd had left by this point, including the Donald Trump impersonator.
The faux-president had several other balls to attend that night.