WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump was silent Friday night inside JR's Bar and Grill. The scenes of his Inauguration Day on MSNBC were muted as the other TVs in the Washington, D.C., gay bar blasted music videos from Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and other pop stars who likely endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Dozens of people lined up inside the swanky bar – one of the city’s prominent gay establishments –sipping at beers, mixed drinks and ciders and mingling about. A few people danced, with a Brazilian tourist named Alessandro leading the pack from the center of the floor with each new song. 

There were reminders of Trump everywhere: a chalk likeness on a board upstairs, a homemade golden streamer "shower" behind the bar, a mural of Clinton signs outside. But in a liberal city that has become increasingly LGBT-friendly, folks were out enjoying a Friday night amid the entrance of a Republican administration many expect to be less accepting toward the LGBT community.

“D.C. is home,” Joshua Poole, a 26-year-old museum curator told International Business Times. “A lot of people left because the didn’t want to see the inauguration… I’m here to fight.”

trump drawing A drawing of President Donald Trump is seen in JR's Bar and Grill in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 2017. Photo: Tim Marcin / IBT

In the halcyon years of the Obama administration, the LGBT community in D.C. saw rapid gains, including the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, complete with the White House lit up in rainbow colors to honor the moment. Washington had the highest LGBT population, 10 percent, of any state or district polled, Gallup found in 2012. A year later, the New York Times wrote that the once-closeted town was now the gayest place in America.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, includes  Vice President Mike Pence, who is considered to be one of the most anti-LGBT politicians in the country by gay rights activists. In perhaps a sign of the times, a page on the White House website that addressed LGBT rights disappeared soon after Trump was sworn in.

But gay men could still openly gather Friday night with a sense of security, finding comfort in the kind of space that once saw police pull patrons from behind the bar to beat them for potentially violating sodomy laws. Years after the Stonewall riots, in a era of newly won civil rights, tea lights and flat screen TVs lined the brick walls at JR's as men in fitted, colorful sweaters flirted and caught up with old friends. 

Richard Baules, a 26-year-old who runs a construction business, said that under Obama the D.C. gay community saw unparalleled opportunity, some of his friends even landing roles in the administration. Under Trump, meanwhile, the activist community was energized again.

"[We] kind of slacked off, almost," Baules said of the gay community, noting that the 2015 Supreme Court marriage ruling had felt like a culmination of sorts.

img Pictured are Joshua Poole (left) and Richard Baules (r) in JR's Bar and Grill in Washington D.C. on Jan. 20, 2017. Photo: Tim Marcin/IBT

These days, the compliancy has been replaced by fear: for young LGBT kids, for the trans community, for making it through the next four years. "I hope we survive," said Van Goodwin, 38, in reference to the country and world at large. "I think this is more dangerous than people give it credit for."

The bar’s longtime manager, David Perruzza, was worried, mostly about Pence, but Friday night he bounced around, cracking jokes, doling out hugs, seemingly everyone’s friend. D.C.’s LGBT community wouldn’t change, he told IBT. The incoming GOP administration would all just "move to Virginia," he said.

"What am I gonna do, sulk for four years?" he said.