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Karine Jean-Pierre Hosts The L Word Cast & Creator at White House Press Briefing

Karine Jean-Pierre Hosts The L Word Cast & Creator at White House Press Briefing

White House Press Briefing featuring Karine Jean-Pierre and the cast of The L Word: Generation Q

The White House is marking Lesbian Visibility Week.

On the day President Joe Biden announced that he would run for reelection, the Biden administration marked Lesbian Visibility Week.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the first out lesbian to hold the position, welcomed cast and crew members of Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q to the White House at the top of Tuesday’s daily press briefing.

Cast members Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey joined co-creator, writer, and executive producer Ilene Chaiken behind the podium alongside Jean-Pierre. Chaiken and Hailey spoke after Jean-Pierre explained the significance of LGBTQ+ visibility.

“This week is Lesbian Visibility Week, and as the first openly queer person to hold the position of Press Secretary for the President of the United States, I see every day how important visibility and representation are,” she said.

Jean-Pierre explained that last year she had the opportunity to attend a filming of the show — an integral wedding scene — which resonated particularly with queer women after the episode aired.

She explained that although she grew up in New York City, where diversity abounds on many levels, “As a young queer woman of color, I felt alone and sometimes invisible.”

Jean-Pierre said that being able to relate to others is imperative for the well-being of everybody, including LGBTQ+ young people.

“It is important that young people see characters on television and in the books they can relate to, whose life stories and identities inspire them to reach their highest potential,” she explained. “As the LGBTQI+ community continues to face relentless attacks from some Republicans across the country, from books bans to ‘don’t say gay laws,’ MAGA extremists want to roll back the visibility and progress we fought so hard to achieve.”

She continued, “But LGBTQI+ youth are resilient. They are fierce. They fight back. They aren’t going anywhere. And there are people from the White House, from the president to the vice president to this administration and beyond, who have their back.”

Chaiken took the podium next and noted the original L Word’s impact on LGBTQ+ representation when it came out in the early aughts.

“We, too, accomplished a few firsts by bringing our stories into homes and communities across the country and around the world,” she said. “We learned by the beautiful response to our show how profoundly important it is for people, particularly young people, to see themselves reflected in our entertainment culture and to know that they’re embraced, valued, and not alone.”

Chaiken added, “We face new threats against our community, from online harassment to legislative acts of violence, to actual physical violence, astonishing backward, mean-spirited attacks by groups and individuals who, in trying to deny our humanity, only diminish their own.”

She said that the LGBTQ+ community and its allies are watching what’s going on and not taking the diminishment of their existence without challenge.

“They may try to erase our stories from classrooms and libraries, but we’re here. We’re here today at the White House, and we won’t be erased. We will continue to be visible, powerful, engaged, contributive creative, loving American citizens,” Chaiken said.

Hailey also explained why visibility meant so much to her and why representing the community requires making sure those who may feel abandoned are seen.

“I’m standing here today because as a young gay girl in Nebraska who raced soapbox derby cars and wore rainbow suspenders, I was seen by my family. Their love and support gave me the courage and confidence to live my life openly,” Hailey began. “As an actor on the L Word, I have had the enormous honor and responsibility of being visible for over 20 years. But visibility is not just the act of being seen. It is the ability to see.”

The actor added, “So to the librarian in Texas advocating to keep books with LGBTQIA themes on the shelves: We see you. To the LGBTQIA people leading their communities as rabbis, pastors, and ministers: We see you."

”To the LGBTQIA community in Missouri about to lose their gender-affirming care: We see you. To the LGBTQIA community affected by the Dobbs decision in Idaho, Wisconsin, Alabama, [and] Tennessee: We see you. And to the first openly LGBTQIA [White House] Press Secretary: We see you! Visibility starts in our homes and our communities. And even if it feels like you’re under attack, know that we see you.”

The L Word: Generation Q was not renewed for a fourth season and concluded its three-season run in March, but a new spin-off potentially called The L Word: New York is rumored to be in development for 2024.

Watch The White House Press Briefing featuring the L Word: Generation Q team below.

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine

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