As Pride Month was winding down, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre took to Twitter to share her coming out story.
“I came out to my Mom when I was 16 years old. The revolted look on her face sent me running back into the proverbial closet and slamming the door shut. After that, my sexuality became a family secret and it would stay that way for years,” wrote Jean-Pierre.
“I dated, but I hid those relationships from my family. Just as American society has evolved over the course of the past couple of decades to embrace the LGBTQ community (never forgetting we still have work to do), my family has evolved to embrace my membership in it,” she continued.
Many members of the LGBTQ community choose June to come out to their family and to their peers. It can be a daunting experience. Jean-Pierre speaking out will hopefully encourage others to do the same.
Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969.
“I’m proud to be an out Black Queer woman and I have been for quite some time,” Jean-Pierre continues. “I’m happy to say, my Mother is now proud of ALL of who I am; she loves my partner and she loves being a doting grandmother to the daughter we are raising.
“My journey towards feeling accepted by myself and loved ones wasn’t an easy one, but it was worthwhile. No matter where you are in your journey, I see you, we see you and we celebrate you – Happy Pride,” she concludes.
Jean-Pierre made history in May when she became the second Black woman in history to hold the daily press briefing.
“I appreciate the historic nature. I really do,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at the time. “But I believe that … being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building is not about one person. It’s about what we do on behalf of the American people.”
Judy Smith was the first Black female White House spokeswoman to hold a daily press briefing in the briefing room in 1991. She served as deputy press secretary under President George H.W. Bush.