‘You Are Loved,’ White House Press Secretary Tells LGBTQ Youth

A flurry of recent state bills targeting LGBTQ kids and gender affirming care for youth sets a dangerous precedent, the White House said Thursday, while encouraging protests.

“We are so proud of the kids across this country who have organized protests and school walkouts to tell the politicians in their states to stop this legislative bullying,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the first openly gay White House press secretary, said at the White House podium on Thursday.

“I know that these political tacks can really take a toll on people’s mental health. So I want to say directly to LGBTQI+ kids, you are loved just as you are, just the way you are.”

Conservative lawmakers have led a wave of nationwide actions to restrict LGBTQ rights. Measures include bans on discussion of gender identity in schools, clampdowns on drag shows and blocking transgender participation in sports.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday refused to let West Virginia enforce a state law banning transgender athletes from female sports teams at public schools. Republican lawmakers in Kentucky overrode a governor’s veto last week, banning transgender youths from gender-affirming healthcare and restricting which toilets they use in public schools.

Indiana’s governor this week signed a bill banning all gender-affirming care for minors, joining about a dozen others states that have passed similar laws.

“This is a dangerous a dangerous attack on the rights of parents to make the best health care decisions for their own kids,” Jean-Pierre said of the Indiana bill and others like it.