The more than 100 people dressed in costumes and dancing in Dignowity Park on Saturday night were on a mission: to celebrate gay pride in San Antonio and protest Mayor Ivy Taylor just two weeks ahead of the June 10 runoff election.

The flash mob – located in the park, directly in front of Taylor’s home – was organized by Rosey Abuabara, who encouraged participants to come dressed as their favorite celebrities, Comic-Con characters, or simply “dressed to party.”

Speaking out for the LGBTQIA community is a personal thing for Abuabara, she said, since she has two gay brothers and a gay son. She found inspiration for the dance mob from a similar event that took place earlier this year in front of Vice President Mike Pence’s house in Washington, D.C., she said.

“It came up on my Facebook feed and I watched it and just thought it was really awesome,” Abuabara told the Rivard Report.

Blake, 6, dances in a tutu at the Gay Pride Mob Flash Dance in front of Mayor Ivy Taylors house.
Blake, 6, dances in a tutu in front of Mayor Ivy Taylor’s house during the gay pride flash mob. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Taylor is facing Councilman Ron Nirenberg (D8) in the runoff election. A member of a local Baptist church, Taylor has been criticized for voting against expanding the City’s non-discrimination ordinance in 2013 to include sexual orientation and gender identity. She recently caught flack for her comments about the causes of poverty, where she begins by saying “To me, it’s broken people … people not being in a relationship with their Creator, and therefore not being in a good relationship with their families and their communities … and not being productive members of society.” She went on to say that tackling teen pregnancy and access to education also are key to addressing poverty.

After the latter occurrence, Abuabara protested outside of City Hall, alone, for several days, holding a poster that said “#PoisonIvy Must Go.”

“I didn’t say, ‘Vote for Ron or Manuel,’ or anything like that,” Abuabara said, but she thinks Taylor “just needs to go.”

Taylor was out of town Saturday, according to her campaign spokesman Greg Jefferson, but he sent a comment to the Rivard Report: “Mayor Taylor respects the rights of all San Antonians, including flash mob dancers.”

(From left) Jennifer Jaster and Jorge Estevez walk in front of the crowd with rainbow flags at the Gay Pride Mob Flash Dance in front of Mayor Ivy Taylors house.
(From left) Jennifer Jaster and Jorge Estevez walk in front of the crowd with rainbow flags during a flash mob celebrating gay pride in front of Mayor Ivy Taylor’s house. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

It didn’t matter to Abuabara that the mayor wasn’t present for the festivities. She said that the fact that the dance party occurred shows that LGBTQIA people and their allies are tired of the hate projected toward them.

Abuabara also found the location inspiring for another reason: The downtown San Antonio skyline is in the distance, in clear view.

“It’s kind of symbolic,” she said, the dancing and outward expression of gay pride and support, with the city behind them.

A group dances as a part of the Gay Pride Mob Flash Dance in front of Mayor Ivy Taylors house with the downtown skyline in the background.
A group dances during a flash mob to celebrate gay pride in front of Mayor Ivy Taylor’s house with the downtown skyline in the background. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

The runoff election is on Saturday, June 10. Early voting begins May 30.

Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia

Camille, a San Antonio native, formerly worked at the Rivard Report as assistant editor and reporter. She is a freelance writer based in Austin, where she is getting her master's in Latin American Studies...

Bonnie Arbittier

Bonnie Arbittier

Bonnie Arbittier is a photojournalist raised in upstate New York and rural Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Fine Arts and French. After completing...