Heard on the Hill

Drag ‘Comstocks’ Protest Comstock at Annual High Heel Race

Annual gathering takes on election-year tone

Members of Gays Against Guns DC dressed in drag as Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock before the start of the 30th Annual 17th Street High Heel Race in Washington on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If you asked anyone who Barbara Comstock is on Tuesday night, six men dressed up as her in Washington’s DuPont Circle would yell, “I’m Barbara Comstock!”

The Virginia Republican congresswoman was a target of a protest by the gun control advocacy group Gays Against Guns DC — who dubbed her “notoriously anti-gay and pro-[National Rifle Association]” — at the 30th annual 17th Street High Heel Race. Protesters dressed up either as Comstock or Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, or held signs or wore shirts that read, “Who is Barbara Comstock?”

The costumed drag queen race is traditionally held the Tuesday before every Halloween along the historic 17th Street between P and S streets in northwest Washington, D.C.

The protesters would stop at points along the race route to talk about Comstock.

A man in drag encourages people to vote for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“She hates you. She hates black people. She hates gay people. She hates women who are nasty. Hillary needs good friends, not bad,” one of the faux Comstocks said, while handing out flyers.

“She votes against gay marriage, get her out. Vote her out, hashtag it,” said another.

“If you vote for me, every child will have a mommy, daddy and a AR-15 semi-automatic rifle,” chanted one Comstock impersonator, while another shouted, “I love guns! Where’s Donald Trump?”

Comstock, who is facing a surprisingly competitive challenge from Democrat LuAnn Bennett in Virginia’s 10th District in the D.C. suburbs, did not respond to requests for comment.

On one of the first chilly days of the year, dozens of other people in drag went shirtless, but none failed to wear heels along the DuPont Circle street.

A man dressed as Hillary Clinton gets some help crossing the finish line. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Police officers blocked off streets to cars, and dozens of volunteers lined the few blocks along with hundreds of people who came out to watch.

Spotted among the costumes were Hillary Clinton and Voldemort while two people, dressed as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, said they were going to build a force field and make the Klingons pay for it. Both were carrying stylized versions of the Barack Obama campaign “Hope” posters with Star Trek themes.

A man identifying himself as "Darlene Deplorable" carries books by right wing figures during the costume parade before the start of the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By 7 p.m., restaurants Dukes, Agora, Trios and Floriana on 17th were packed with people posted up to watch. The sign-up for the race was at the popular local bar Cobalt.

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