- White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the first “openly queer” person to hold the position, celebrated “Lesbian Visibility Week” on Tuesday during a press briefing.
- Jean-Pierre celebrated with the the cast of “The L Word: Generation Q,” a show about a lesbian and queer friend group, who discussed the harms of “book bans” and outlawing medical transitioning interventions.
- “It is important that LGBTQIA+ people are represented in government, in shows, in institutions across the country and this work is more important than ever as the LGBTQIA+ community continues to face relentless attacks from some Republicans across the country. From book bans to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws, MAGA [Make America Great Again] extremists want to roll back the visibility and progress we fought so hard to achieve,” Jean-Pierre said.
The first “openly queer” White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, celebrated “Lesbian Visibility Week” during a Tuesday press briefing.
To celebrate “Lesbian Visibility Week,” Jean-Pierre began the press briefing with the cast of “The L Word: Generation Q,” a show about a lesbian and queer friend group, who spoke on the hardships of being an openly gay woman in the United States. The cast of “The L Word: Generation Q” touted President Joe Biden as the most supportive president of the LGBTQ community while touching on the harms of “book bans” and outlawing medical transitioning interventions. (RELATED: ‘My Question Is Very Simple’: Biden Education Secretary Refuses To Define What A Woman Is)
“It is important that young people see characters on television and in books who they can relate to, whose life stories and identities inspire them to reach their highest potential,” Jean-Pierre said. “It is important that LGBTQIA+ people are represented in government, in shows, in institutions across the country and this work is more important than ever as the LGBTQIA+ community continues to face relentless attacks from some Republicans across the country. From book bans to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws, MAGA [Make America Great Again] extremists want to roll back the visibility and progress we fought so hard to achieve.”
Parents are pushing school districts to remove sexually explicit content from classrooms, which Democrats have criticized as censorship of the LGBTQ community; in August 2022, Utah’s largest school district removed 52 books for “inappropriate content,” including “Gender Queer,”a book that contains cartoon images of a boy masturbating and performing oral sex on another man, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” a memoir about the experience of a black queer boy growing up that depicts graphic sexually explicit encounters.
Following the efforts taken by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, several states throughout the nation, such as Iowa and Indiana, are taking steps to restrict lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation in schools. On April 19, the Florida Board of Education approved a rule prohibiting certain instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in K-12 classrooms.
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to be here today standing beside the first out lesbian press secretary in our history who serves the most pro LGBTQI president in our history,” Ilene Chaiken, a writer of “The L Word” said during the briefing. “When ‘The L Word’ debuted in 2004, we too accomplished a few firsts like bringing our stories into homes and communities across the country and around the world. We learned by the beautiful response to our show how profoundly important it is for people, particularly young people, to see themselves reflected in our entertainment culture.”
In June 2022, the Department of Education (ED) proposed changes to Title IX, a landmark civil rights law intended to curb sex-based discrimination in federally-funded education, as well as prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. On April 6, the ED proposed additional changes to Title IX which would prohibit public K-12 schools and colleges from adopting a “one-size-fits-all-policy” and barring students from joining sports teams on the basis of gender identity.
“To the librarian in Texas advocating to keep books with LGBTQIA themes on the shelves, we see you,” Leisha Hailey, a “The L Word” cast member, said at the briefing. “To the LGBTQIA people leading their community as rabbis, pastors and ministers, we see you. To the LGBTQIA community in Missouri about to lose their gender-affirming care [medical transitioning interventions], we see you. To the LGBTQIA community affected by the Dobbs decision in Idaho, Wisconsin, Alabama, Tennessee, we see you. And to the first openly LGBTQIA press secretary, we see you.”
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