President Biden hosted a "Pride Month 2023" event on the White House lawn Saturday, decorating the area with rainbow motifs and the "Progress Pride flag."
The event, hosting performers and speakers representing LGBT causes, acclaimed the Pride community as "the bravest and most inspiring people" and an "example" for the US and the entire world.
"Outside the gates of this house are those who want to drag our country backwards, and so many battles yet to be braved. But today, we're not here to be strong. We're not here to be courageous. Even though for so many of you, just coming to this event is an act of bravery," said First Lady Jill Biden.
"Every day that you're alive and someone loves you is a miracle," Jill Biden said, quoting feminist author Rita Brown. She added, "And when you leave here to go back to the place that needs so much change, take that miracle with you."
The first lady was followed by Scarlett Harvey, a health and fitness coach from Houston, Texas.
Harvey told the crowd outside the White House that she has experienced discrimination as a lesbian mother in a conservative state and thanked Biden for his support of LGBT movements before giving the podium to the president.
"Happy Pride Month!" Biden told the crowd. "Happy Pride Year! Happy Pride Life!"
A "Progress Pride Flag" was hung on the balcony of the White House for the event, flanked by two American Flags.
During his speech, the president repeated an anecdote he has told frequently in the past — claiming that when he was a child he witnessed two men kissing and turned to his father for an explanation.
Biden claims his father told him, "It's simple, Joe. They love each other."
He also specifically noted his intense support for "LGBTQ children" and "transgender children."
The president went on to call the LGBT community "the bravest and most inspiring" people he's ever met, calling them an example for the entire world to follow.
"You're some of the bravest and most inspiring people I've ever known. And I've known a lot of good folks," Biden said. "You set an example for the nation — and quite frankly for the world."
"You know, we all move forward when we move together with your joy, with your pride lighting the way," the president continued. "So today, let us proudly remember who we are — the United States of America."
Biden was followed by a musical performance by singer Betty Who — however, the president, who was shaking hands off-stage, was called back up to the stage by the first lady.
The president did not make it back to the stage before the performance began, and the audience was told he would be back afterward to say a few words.
Biden did not reappear after Betty Who's performance, but the singer was thanked and received a hug from the first lady.