Jun 16, 2022

President Joe Biden gives speech marking Pride Month celebration 6/15/22 Transcript

President Joe Biden gives speech marking Pride Month celebration 6/15/22 Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsJoe Biden TranscriptsPresident Joe Biden gives speech marking Pride Month celebration 6/15/22 Transcript

President Joe Biden gives speech marking Pride Month celebration on 6/15/22. Read the transcript here.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Speaker 1: (00:00)
… Las Vegas [inaudible 00:00:01].

Jill Biden: (00:04)
So it was late on a warm October night in Las Vegas and we were all candidates’ spouses at the time, but there was an energy in the air that brought us all together and we had the chance to get to know one another. And we made a promise then that our next pride celebration would be on the south lawn of the White House. And now, here we are once again, but it was just a little too hot and humid out there to be on the lawn. So every year that we gather here in our nation’s capital is a reminder of just how far we’ve come, that we have LGBTQ leaders at some of the highest levels of government, that we can gather to celebrate all of you, that your president and I are proud to stand with you and fight beside you.

Jill Biden: (01:15)
But we know that this progress hasn’t reached everyone in the same way. We know that in places across the country, like Florida, Texas, or Alabama, rights are under attack. And we know that, in small towns and big cities, prejudice and discrimination still lurk. It shouldn’t take courage to be yourself. It shouldn’t take courage to go to school and walk down the halls as the person you know you are. It shouldn’t take courage to hold the hand of the person you love on a bus, to kiss them goodbye on the sidewalk, to share one of the most fundamental and beautiful connections that any one of us could have in this life. It shouldn’t, but too often and in too many places, it still does.

Jill Biden: (02:16)
And in some way, all of you here today have called on that courage and you’ve used your voice to say, we will not go back. We will not let the progress that we fought for slip away. Pride is a celebration of the courage it takes to stand up for what’s right, to become the leaders we need to live an authentic life. We recognize it as an act of bravery and beauty, of daring and defiance, and we look forward to a time when that courage is no longer needed, when all people in all places can feel the freedom and the joy that we feel here today.

Jill Biden: (03:22)
What Joe said 10 years ago was right. Love is love. Joe and I are grateful for all of you and we will never stop working for that future. So now, I’m so proud to introduce our next speaker. I’m always impressed when young people are brave enough to come to the White House and speak in front of so many leaders, but after organizing a walkout at his high school to protest the Don’t Say Gay bill, leading a rally of his peers and publicly sharing his own story, I’m pretty sure that speaking at today’s celebration is nothing he can’t handle. Please welcome Javier Gomez. We dressed alike.

Javier Gomez: (04:59)
Thank you, Dr. Biden. I’m honored to be with you today, an educator who champions students, as well as with the President, Vice President, and Second Gentleman. My name is Javier Gomez. I use he/him pronouns and I’m honored to be here with you all today. I’m an 18-year-old proud, gay, Venezuelan American from Miami, Florida. I graduated high school last week and, next fall, I will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Oh, my god. The Vice President told me it was a big deal. Oh, my god.

Javier Gomez: (06:14)
When I was five years old, I knew I was different. I knew I liked boys, but I didn’t know the words for it. I was mocked and bullied for being too gay, too feminine or too outgoing. Those words silenced me, but I had an escape from this, my only gay fifth grade teacher. He created a classroom that made me feel welcomed. I even remember noticing his rainbow socks. It was a small, but big symbol that gave me hope.

Javier Gomez: (06:59)
As I grew older, coming out was a rocky process, but my fifth grade teacher provided me the support I needed to understand my identity. I fear other students in Florida and across the country will not be able to get the same support because of hateful legislation, like the Don’t Say Gay Bill, but my presence here is a testament that we are fighting back because our lives are glorious, beautiful, and worthy. We deserve respect and love. And until we have that, we will fight. We will continue to fight, to fight for liberation.

Javier Gomez: (08:00)
For months, I’ve been proud to work side by side with fellow students and allies in the community to fight back against this legislation that seeks to make schools in my state a more dangerous and hostile place to be LGBTQ+. We have traveled endless hours to Tallahassee to advocate and testify against the Don’t Say Gay bill. We organized school-wide walkouts and rallies and we looked into the eyes of those pushing this cruel and dangerous legislation and said, “It’s okay to be gay.”

Javier Gomez: (08:47)
I’m fighting for the next little Javier, so he doesn’t have to cry himself to sleep every night, aching that he wakes up normal. To all the supportive parents, youth activists, teachers, and allies, I am proud to stand here today with you and with a true leader, a leader who is not just speaking up for us, but standing up for us with action against these extreme attacks. While the governor of my state has turned his back on young LGBTQ+ people and our families, I’m proud to stand here today with a leader who does have our back. It is my greatest honor and greatest honor to introduce the 46th President of the United States of America, President Joe Biden.

Joe Biden: (10:26)
Thank you. My name is Joe Biden. I’m Joe Biden’s husband and Valerie Biden’s brother. And let me start off by saying, Javier, when you’re president and they say, “Joe Biden’s out in the waiting room,” promise me you won’t say, “Joe, who?” Thank you for that introduction, Javier, and for your incredible leadership at such a young age down in Florida. Who knows? Maybe, as I said, someday you’ll be standing here. And Jill just mentioned, along with Kamala and Doug, t’s great to see so many friends, and I mean that, friends here in Pride Month, here in the White House.

Joe Biden: (11:29)
Speaker Pelosi is here. God love her. Thank you, [inaudible 00:11:39]. [inaudible 00:11:39] Chuck Schumer from New York. Senator Tammy Baldwin is here, too. Congressman Dave Cicilline is here, and the senator who took my seat in the United States Senate, a guy named Chris Coons, with other members of the equality caucus. There are too many other people to mention by name. I shouldn’t probably have started, but I want to say I acknowledge Judy and David Shepard, parents of Matthew Shepard. We spent some time together at a very difficult time, at the time. And what you’ve done and what Matthew did and what all of us are … I mean, look what’s happened, in no small part because of you. I mean that sincerely. It’s good to see you both again. It really is.

Joe Biden: (12:49)
By the way, it’s almost exactly seven years since the Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality in America. And Jim, you called me on the steps of the Supreme Court after that. Where’s Jim? There you go. You called me. I got this phone call when the court decision came down. And Jim was standing on … I think you were on the steps of the Supreme Court when you called me and said, “Well, we did it, we did it, we did it.” The victor is not just for you and John, but for the whole country, the whole country.” Jim, it’s good to see you, pal. It really is.

Joe Biden: (13:25)
And as a point of personal privilege, I want to acknowledge Sarah McBride. Sarah, where are you? Sarah used to work for our deceased son, Beau, in Attorney General’s Office in Delaware. She’s the first transgender state senator in history and, when I served as Vice President, served as an intern in the White House, as well. That’s why I kept my office going [inaudible 00:13:57]. As I said, she also worked for our beloved son, Beau, the Attorney General, and they passed … Anyway, they did a lot. They did a lot together. Sarah, wonderful to see you, kiddo.

Joe Biden: (14:11)
Look, last year, we hosted this event. The message is simple. Pride is back at the White House. From day one, this has been the most pro-equality administration in history, led by guys like Pete Buttigieg and so many others. I think we have more LGBTQ+ people than any administration or every administration combined. No, I really mean it. I really mean it because I promised when I got elected I wanted my administration to look like America, look like America across the board. And we’ve done that, record number of out and proud appointees at every single level of our government. And as I said, Secretary Buttigieg, who needs no introduction, is doing an outstanding job of rebuilding America. And I mean that in a literal sense and not just in terms of what he’s doing in transportation, but he’s helping rebuild pride in America.

Joe Biden: (15:22)
And my public spokesman, Karine Jean-Pierre, is making history [inaudible 00:15:34]. We’re also joined by the Assistant Secretary of Health and Education and Human Services, Admiral Rachel Levine, and under Secretary of Defense, Sean Steele. Where is he? Where is under Secretary of Defense? There you go. Thank you very much, the first and second transgender Americans to be senate-confirmed in American history.

Joe Biden: (16:11)
Let me say, as Commander in Chief, I’m proud to have ended the un-American ban on transgender Americans serving in our military. And just last week, the Department of Defense announced new policies allowing HIV-positive service members to finally be able to deploy and commission. I’m also proud to have signed at executive order on my first day in office to combat discrimination against LGBTQLI, excuse me, plus Americans in housing, in healthcare, in education, in employment, financial service and the criminal justice system. First thing I signed.

Joe Biden: (17:03)
No one knows better than the people in this room, we have a lot more work to do, a lot more work to do. I don’t have to tell you about the ultra MAGA agenda attacking families and our freedoms. 300 discriminatory bills introduced in the states across this country. In Texas, knocking on front doors to harass and investigate parents who are raising transgender children. In Florida, going after Mickey Mouse, for God’s sake. That struck close to home. No, but think about this. All of you in this room know better than anyone that these attacks are real and consequential for real families.

Joe Biden: (17:44)
Just look at what happened in Idaho last weekend. 31 white supremacists stopped just before they reached the pride celebration where they apparently planned to unleash violence on people gathering peacefully in a show of their pride. I’m grateful for the swift response of law enforcement and they responded. They responded. Violent attacks on community, including ongoing attacks on transgender women of color, make our nation less safe because the attacks are more than ever last year and they’re on pace again this year. They’re disgusting and they have to stop.

Joe Biden: (18:20)
Right now, there are young people sitting in their bedroom, doors closed, silent, scrolling through social media, staring at the ceiling, wondering if they’ll ever be loved, ever marry, ever have a family, be accepted by their own family sometimes. Our son started an organization before he died to make sure that people understood what it meant, going all around the country, letting people know, trying to train families, the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, of LGBTQ+ people that they have to reach out, embrace and love their blood, to allow them to be themselves, or whether they should even be here on earth, a lot of folks wonder.

Joe Biden: (19:08)
I found my friends, some of my gay friends, I’ve asked them, “What was it like as a kid?” I can’t imagine what it’s like, locking yourself in that room and wondering, just staring at the ceiling, just wondering. And I would note parenthetically that we owe an awful lot to those early, early folks who had the courage to stand up. No, I really mean it. The message then was not only could you be physically beaten, but you’d lose your job. We owe so many people.

Joe Biden: (19:54)
My message to all the young people, just be you. You loved, you are heard, you are understood, you do belong. And I want you to know that, as your president, all of us on this stage have your back. We have your back. Receive who you are [inaudible 00:20:25] of God and deserving dignity, respect, and support. Today, I’m about to sign an executive order that directs key federal agencies to protect our communities from those hateful attacks and advance equality for families. My order will use the full force of the federal government to prevent inhumane practices of conversion therapy.

Joe Biden: (20:46)
This is the first time the federal government is leading a coordinated response against this dangerous, discredited practice. The executive order will also support mental health for children by addressing bullying and suicide and making our schools safer. Addressing the nation’s mental health crisis is a key pillar of the unity agenda I announced in the State of the Union address. My executive order also will take on discrimination that children and parents face in foster care. I’m also going to support older adults so they can age with dignity. And also, there’s a lot there that aren’t.

Joe Biden: (21:36)
And we’ll also do so much to protect and support our fellow Americans, but Congress has to pass an act, as well, and that’s the Equality Act, which will enshrine the long overdue civil rights to protect all Americans, every American.

Joe Biden: (21:58)
Let me close with this. We’re in a battle for the very soul this nation, and that’s not hyperbole. We’re in a battle for the soul of the nation. When I look around this room here and all you here today, it’s a battle I know we will win. We will win. And we’ll do so on the shoulders of so many people who are no longer with us, but who paved the way for us, people like Gloria Allen, known as Mama Gloria, who transitioned in 1950s and who passed away just two days ago, people like the legendary advocate, Mr. Vad.

Joe Biden: (22:44)
You know what I mean? You go back and think of the people who passed away last month from cancer and who once said the Gay Rights Movement is an integral part of the American promise of freedom. We’re all here today. Thank you, thank you, thank you [inaudible 00:22:59] deliver the American promise of freedom. May God bless you all and may God protect our troops.

Joe Biden: (23:06)
Now, I’m going to sign an executive order. Joining me will be a group of young people who are standing up for equity and the promise of freedom, as well as a few other folks. So folks, thank you. I know you’ve been standing a long time. Just lean against one another. It’s so crowded, it will all work out. Okay? Thank you, thank you.

Speaker 5: (23:26)
[inaudible 00:23:26].

Joe Biden: (23:26)
Thank you. Advancing equality for liberation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex individual. That’s what I’m about to sign. And we usually give a pen to everyone who’s part of this, but I only have one with me today. And Mr. President, it’s yours. Folks one more thing. [inaudible 00:24:25]. He’d yell, “Joey, keep the faith.” My grandma [inaudible 00:24:30] and yelled, “No, spread the faith.” Go spread it. Let’s go.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.