White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday shared her own story of coming out in recognition of National Coming Out Day, urging other Americans not to feel discouraged.
“Like so many in the LGBTQ+ community, coming out wasn’t an easy thing to do. My family was traditional and conservative. Being gay in my family wasn’t something that you mentioned out loud or celebrated,” Jean-Pierre said at the start of the White House press briefing.
“But my family, like many families, grew to accept who I was. Who I loved didn’t change who I was as a person. It didn’t change the things I liked to do, and it didn’t change the goals I had for my life,” she continued. “The beauty of America is its freedom and the promise that you can do anything you want regardless of your race, sex, country of origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
Jean-Pierre is the first openly gay woman and the first Black woman to serve as White House press secretary. She took over the role in May for Jen Psaki.
Tuesday marked National Coming Out Day, which was started more than 30 years ago in support of members of the LGBTQ+ community who have come out about their sexual orientation or who are struggling with the process of coming out.
“I celebrate our LGBTQI+ community this National Coming Out Day. Never doubt that you are loved and appreciated for being exactly who you are,” Vice President Harris tweeted.