President Joe Biden on Monday issued a statement honoring National Coming Out Day, telling members of the LGBTQ community they are "loved and accepted," and that the Biden administration is "committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation."
The statement is the first for National Coming Out Day from the White House after a four year near-ban on any statement of support for LGBTQ people. President Biden's predecessor refused to issue official statements in support of Pride Month or National Coming Out Day, while actively attacking and dismantling hard-won rights of the LGBTQ community.
Promising to "always have your back," President Biden applauded the "courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self."
He noted that from "Day One" of his presidency he has worked "to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community."
And he acknowledged there is still much work left to do.
"Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures," Biden warned. "Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love."