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Kamala Harris Celebrates Pride Month with Star-Studded Event

Kamala Harris Celebrates Pride Month with Star-Studded Event

Vice President Kamala Harris

There was joy upon queer joy on display and a party atmosphere at the Naval Observatory.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff hosted a star-studded LGBTQ+ Pride reception at their official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., Wednesday evening.

In partnership with GLAAD, Harris and Emhoff welcomed dozens of LGBTQ+ community members, activists, and allies to celebrate Pride while taking seriously the perilous moment that has seen right-wing extremists attempt to strip the community of its rights.

The program’s emcee was drag performer and winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Sasha Colby.

Other speakers included the Second Gentleman, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis, Tony Award-winning actor Alex Newell (who gave an epic performance that had the entire crowd singing), and a young LGBTQ+ activist in Colorado, Sam Charney, who introduced Harris. Charney had written to her about gun violence prevention in the aftermath of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs.

Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes, who were representing Club Q, also attended the soiree.

State and national LGBTQ+ leaders from various backgrounds, including the private sector, local, state, and federal governments, entertainment, non-profit organizations, and celebrities, along with social media influencers and athletes, were all there.

Television personality Bobby Berke from Queer Eye, drag performer and social media influencer Pattie Gonia, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and Assistant Secretary for Health for the Department of Health and Human Services Rachel Levine were among the guests. So too were Jeff Hiller and Murray Hill from the critically acclaimed show Somebody Somewhere. Gus Kenworthy, the gay freestyle skiing Olympic silver medalist, also enjoyed the evening’s festivities.

More than 32 states and territories were represented among attendees, according to a White House official.

Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning out actor Ariana DeBose also joined the celebration on the mansion’s pool deck along with pop star and DeBose's Schmicago co-star Dove Cameron, and The Advocate spotted famed technology journalist Kara Swisher who also had a brief conversation with Harris after her remarks.

During her speech, Harris highlighted the importance of celebrating LGBTQ+ American achievements.

She also underscored the need to form coalitions to fight unprecedented attacks on the community across the country, how the fight for equality is a matter of national pride, and how the Biden-Harris Administration supports LGBTQ+ families and people.

“The fight for equal rights is patriotic,” Harris said to cheers from the crowd. “We believe in the foundational principles of our country, we believe in the promise of freedom and equality and justice. And so the fight for equal rights is an expression of our love of our country.”

She added, “Pride is patriotism!” which elicited cheers from the enthusiastic crowd.

Harris noted that she was impressed by the diverse crowd united at one location to be joyful and proud of their existence while being vigilant about standing up against attacks that would strip the community of its rights.

“It will be incumbent on us to be clear-eyed about the movement we are a part of and the moment we are in. Right now, in our country, over 600 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been proposed, and over 70 have been passed,” she said with outrage in her voice.

She added that the baton had been passed from previous generations who fought for the rights of marginalized people to those in attendance, explaining that it was now their responsibility to continue to fight for the expansion (and the protection) of rights.

D.C.’s Different Drummers, an LGBTQ+ music organization, and Cheer DC, a volunteer cheerleading group with a mission to add acceptance and equality to the community, provided music and positive energy as guests arrived at the property. Guests also participated in Pride photos with the “You can’t ban queer joy” sign at a social media corner.

As people left, they were given copies of The Advocate, which features an exclusive cover story with Harris in the July/August issue.

Additionally, guests received a Pride-themed, rainbow-colored, handheld, foldable clacking fan emblazoned with the VP’s seal and signature.

Earlier this week, Harris visited the Stonewall Inn and National Monument, where she received a briefing from the National Park Service and greeted guests with TV host Andy Cohen. She talked about the courage of those who demanded equality 54 years ago at Stonewall and how fighting for equality is inherently a matter of addition and coalition building.

Harris also hosted a Pride Month reception at the Naval Observatory in June 2022.

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