President Obama is set to host his annual Pride reception at the White House and the final such celebration during his administration on June 9, the Washington Blade has learned.
Invites for the event were sent out late Thursday. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were invited to event, if more invites are forthcoming or if the Pride reception this year will have any particular theme.
Obama has hosted a Pride reception in the East Room of the White House for each year of his administration, making the upcoming celebration his eighth such event. At the each event, Obama has appeared to deliver remarks along with first lady Michelle Obama.
As LGBT activists have urged the Obama throughout his administration to take action on LGBT rights, the Pride reception has often served as a conduit for making those views known.
Last year, Jennicet Gutiérrez, a trans undocumented immigrant from Mexico affiliated with the LGBT grassroots group GetEQUAL, took the opportunity of the reception to confront Obama on the treatment of transgender people in immigration detention. While in custody, trans undocumented immigrants — many who are fleeing persecution overseas — often face solitary confinement or sexual assault.
Obama shamed Gutiérrez as attendees booed her and Vice President Joseph Biden placed his hands over his face to connote embarrassment. LGBT advocates responded to the confrontation with mixed reaction; some said neither the actions, nor the venue, were appropriate.
Gutiérrez defended her action in an op-ed for the Washington Blade in which she said interrupted Obama because “we need to be heard” and criticized those who shamed her, saying she stood for what is right “in the tradition of how Pride started.”
– See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/05/26/obama-to-host-white-house-pride-reception-on-june-9/#sthash.VmU7pdba.dpuf