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The US First Lady says she’s honored to welcome everyone to this year’s White House Pride celebration.

via YouTube

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 our government. (Applause.) That we can gather to celebrate all of you. That your President and I are proud to stand with you and fight beside you.

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 can have in this life.

It shouldn’t but, too often and in too many places, it still does.

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’ve 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.

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.

First Lady Jill Biden

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