trans is beautiful

The White House posts a message aimed specifically at trans people in the US

The White House and the Biden Administration have made several social media postings in support of Pride Month. Yesterday, the White House reminded people that it supports all sections of the queer community, including those arguably most under attack: Trans people. 

On its official Instagram account, the White House posted three images stating, “Trans rights are human rights”.

An accompaning caption, for trans Americans, said, “You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You belong.”

The same images were posted on X. Although prompting thousands of likes, the images also, predictably caused some backlash – especially on X. 

Trans rights have been at the center of culture wars across the US in recent years. Several states have introduced legislation banning gender-affirming care for minors, and banning books from school libraries that explore gender issues. Trans girls have also been banned from competing in women’s sports in schools and colleges.

Same-sex marriage anniversary

Besides affirming that “trans rights are human rights”, President Joe Biden also took time yesterday to mark the ninth anniversary of the landmark, 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the US.

On social media, his accounts featured a photo of the White House illuminated in rainbow lights. A caption said, “Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the monumental marriage equality ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges.

“This case moved our country forward, and was made possible because of the courageous couples and advocates in the LGBTQI+ community who fought for these hard-won rights.”

Pardons for veterans

Other than posting supportive comments on social media, Biden also announced yesterday some tangible affirmative action toward correcting a historical wrong. 

A statement from the President’s office said that anyone convicted under an old military policy criminalizing consensual gay sex would receive full pardons. 

The policy was in place between 1951 and 2013. At least 2,000 service members were explicitly kicked out of the forces under the policy. Yesterday’s announcement allows them to apply for their discharges to be changed to “honorable” status. This also helps pave the way for them to reclaim benefits they may have lost. However, there remains uncertainty on quite how any compensation or benefit restoration might yet work. The Pentagon has set up a portal with more details and information on exactly who can apply for a pardon.  

Biden Trump debate

Later today, Joe Biden will face Donald Trump in their first Presidential debate. The event, hosted by CNN in Atlanta, is the first such debate to take place during Pride Month. As such, queer advocates on Tuesday released a public letter asking that the topic of LGBTQ rights be raised during the debate. 

“This will be an enormous slight to our community if LGBTQ questions are not asked during this debate,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD. “Our community is deeply affected by where these candidates stand.” 

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