Karine Jean-Pierre
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Exclusive: Doug Emhoff Will Meet With Gay and Transgender Kids Today

Doug Emhoff with Vice President Kamala Harris at Pride parade

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will host a virtual roundtable this afternoon when he will meet with LGBTQ+ high school students from across the country to learn how they feel about returning to school in the wake of widespread attacks on LGBTQ+ identity in classrooms.

Young LGBTQ+ people have been the target of a coordinated right-wing attack for months to erase them and relegate them back into the closet.

Today's meeting comes as Republican governors and legislatures have focused on banning subjects of conversation and books related to LGBTQ+ people and issues from schools and libraries around the country. Others have gone so far as to make gender-affirming medical health care access impossible with policies with which major medical associations disagree.

"The Second Gentleman felt compelled to hold a meeting with students following the passage of legislation in states that impacts the LGBTQ community, including the Don't Say Gay bill in Florida," a White House official tells The Advocate

The call will include trans and cis-gender youth from Florida, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, and California

Among these students are outspoken advocates of LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion, including some of those who led efforts against the Florida's "don't say gay" bill.

The White House says the Second Gentleman is committed to ensuring students feel safe in schools.

One of the young participants, Daniel, reacted to questions from The Advocate with excitement.

"I think it's important for young people to speak with political leaders, so they know exactly what we need and want from them at this time," Daniel, 17, said. "The truth is my generation is moving forward and building lives that we deserve. We will not accept discrimination of any kind. We are leading now, showing up and speaking up, and that's why it's important to hear directly from us."  

Daniel was featured in the 2015 PBS Frontline documentary Growing Up Trans at age nine and continues to spread a message of acceptance and understanding with corporations who prioritize inclusivity in the workplace.

He and 14-year-old sophomore Eve, both of whom are GenderCool Champions, will have the opportunity to get their message to policymakers through the Second Gentlemen's advocacy.

Emhoff has been a stalwart ally to the LGBTQ+ community. He joined Vice President Kamala Harris in June at Washington, D.C.' Capital Pride Festival, where the couple surprised an excited crowd with their attendance.

Emhoff also hosted young trans people at the White House for Transgender Day of Visibility. In addition, he joined assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services Admiral Rachel Levine on a visit in March to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio to speak with medical professionals who care for differences of sexual development and gender development.

Behind the scenes, aside from their friendship with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten, both Emhoff and Harris have been spotted at various popular LGBTQ+ venues around Washington, D.C., including Pitchers, a gay sports bar in Adams Morgan, and popular gay Washington real estate agent Dito Sevilla's Vice President Harris-themed Christmas tree in the heart of the 17th Street gayborhood.

Last year Emhoff made a heartfelt appeal to LGBTQ+ kids as part of a video for the It Gets Better Project.

"There are so many people out there, people like me, who care about you," Emhoff said. "If they just knew what was happening in your life, the kind of people who would put an arm around you and stick by your side. 

"I promise you there are people out there who love you just as you are," he said at the time.

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