First Lady Jill Biden Hosts White House Pride in Partnership with Gill Foundation

Courtesy of White House Photo Office

On Wednesday, First Lady Jill Biden hosted a Pride Month celebration at the White House. The Gill Foundation was honored to partner with the First Lady and White House to support the Pride event again this year, which brought together hundreds of LGBTQ families, transgender youth, and community members on the South Lawn.

The event took place the same day that President Biden issued a statement pardoning thousands of LGBTQ veterans who were convicted under past military laws that discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. “Today,” he said, “I am righting an historic wrong by using my clemency authority to pardon many former service members who were convicted simply for being themselves.”

The White House Pride celebration answered President Biden’s call in his proclamation ushering in Pride Month “to recognize the achievements of the LGBTQI+ community, to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.”

His proclamation reflected on the strengths of the LGBTQ community and the advances our country has made. He also noted the challenges many of us still face, especially transgender youth.

“Families across the country face excruciating decisions to relocate to a different State to protect their children from dangerous and hateful anti-LGBTQI+ laws,” he said. “These bills and laws attack our most basic values and freedoms as Americans: the right to be yourself, the right to make your own medical decisions, and the right to raise your own children.”

At a Pride celebration in Pittsburgh earlier this month, the First Lady similarly highlighted the stakes of our current moment. “History teaches us that our rights and freedoms don’t disappear overnight,” she said. “They disappear slowly, sadly, silently. A book ban. A court decision. A ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. … Until one morning, you wake up and you no longer live in a democracy.”

This is why it is so meaningful that the President, the First Lady, and the administration continue to show the LGBTQ community – our youth, in particular – that they have our back, during Pride Month and throughout the year. And this is why it is so important for all of us to continue standing up for LGBTQ youth against those who would turn back the clock on LGBTQ equality.

Wednesday’s celebration reminded us what it means to have allies in the highest offices and how powerful it can be to come together as a community, especially in challenging times, to laugh, dance, and show our pride.