Former Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is known as a staunch defender of LGBTQ+ rights. The Little Gay Pub, a bar in Washington, D.C., has become the town’s hot spot for taking bathroom selfies.
The two came together this week when Pelosi popped in to speak to patrons and… take a selfie in the elaborate Wes Anderson-inspired bathroom.
She has vocally supported LGBTQ Americans in numerous ways since the 1980s AIDS crisis.
The owners “spared no expense” for the most private area of the bar, including a giant brass sink, a custom wallpaper, elaborate antique mirrors, and a golden swan.
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“My most [eccentric] great aunt was a crazy heiress millionaire lady in D.C., and she had a bathtub which I always envied. It was this ridiculous Mommy Dearest-looking tub that had a staircase going up to covered marble,” co-owner Dito Sevilla said. “And on the end of it was a gigantic swan faucet. And as a child being a gay boy, I was like, ‘This is fabulous. This is crazy,’ so I knew I had to find this swan faucet.”
How popular is the bathroom? An Instagram account features user-submitted selfies – and the pub doesn’t run it. A fan does. The owners didn’t even know it existed until recently.
The trendy hotspot had a wishlist for guests, Sevilla said after Pelosi’s visit. And after months of back-and-forth with her staff, it finally came to fruition – even if her appearance had to be kept secret before she arrived.
“When we opened LGP, she was always on our little guest list of people who wanted to see it,” he said. “Her schedule is really so exhausting. I can’t fathom it.”
“We didn’t advertise it at all. I posted that she was five minutes out when they told me she was five minutes out, but that was the one piece of warning we gave,” Sevilla added.
After chatting with patrons for a while, the powerful pol gathered a group of supporters to head into the elaborate facilities for the obligatory photo.
“My mother softened the blow by saying [the bathroom selfie] was something that everyone did. Of course, [Pelosi] had been briefed on it and was extremely curious,” Sevilla laughed.
“Her team was happy to help her. We went in there, and it was just so amazing that she is so iconic,” co-owner Dusty Martinez said. He served as the photographer.
“It was a thrill last night to stop by The Little Gay Pub: a beautiful, joyful, and vibrant community space made possible by my fabulous friends, Dito, Ben, and Dusty!” Pelosi told Advocate the next day.
“In my toast,” she added, “I thanked them and the LGBTQ+ community for their patriotism in advancing freedom for themselves and, therefore, all of America.”
“For many decades, it has been my privilege to fight for full equality alongside so many fierce advocates, especially those from my hometown of San Francisco. We have made tremendous progress — but sadly today, our trans community, especially children, are under dangerous right-wing assault.”
The owners made it a point to make sure the bar was inclusive. The bathroom is fully ADA-compliant, and the art adorning the walls and ceiling reflects the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. It includes a portrait of Pelosi alongside other iconic LGBTQ+ heroes and allies.
“Since we were three white cisgender males, it was essential to bring art that reflected the experiences of people of color and our transgender siblings. These experiences are reflected throughout the pub,” Sevilla pointed out.