First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Considers Pittsburgh Pride an Act of Bravery

First lady received with mixed reception due to ongoing conflict in Gaza.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden address the crowd at the 2024 Pittsburgh Pride Festival. Photo by Chad Isaiah.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden made a historic appearance at Pittsburgh Pride 2024 on June 1. Dr. Biden addressed the crowd with remarks about the upcoming presidential election.

This is the first time someone from the White House has made an appearance at Pittsburgh Pride. 

“I see such joy and beauty and boldness in your faces, and I love it,” she said to the crowd. “Every year during June, we gather in communities across this country to celebrate how far we’ve come.” 

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden embraces Dena Stanley, lead organizers of Pittsburgh Pride.

Dr. Biden also shouted out the bravery it takes for the community to be authentically themselves. She spoke about the courage it takes to hold your partner’s hand or kiss them in public, even though it shouldn’t take courage to do so. 

“Oh, it shouldn’t, but in too many places, it still does,” she said. “In some way, all of you here today have called upon your courage, and you used your voice to say, ‘We will not go back.’”

The First Lady went on to say that the president will not let the progress that has been made be taken away. 

“Today this community is under attack,” she said. “Rights are being stripped away. Freedoms are broken. More and more state laws are being passed targeting this community.” 

She stated that those who are targeting the community only have one purpose, and it is to spread hate and fear. 

“History teaches us that our rights and freedoms don’t disappear overnight,” Dr. Biden said. “They disappear slowly, suddenly, silently. A book ban, a ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. One group of people loses its rights and then another, until one morning you wake up and you no longer live in a democracy.” 

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden posed for pictures with Pittsburgh Pride attendees. Photo by Chad Isaiah.

Dr. Biden also called out Donald Trump, stating how he is harmful to our community.

“Donald Trump is a bully to the LGBT community,” she said. 

She shared that we have been through difficulties and tragedies before, and each time, we pushed through. She called out those who get out to spread the word, knock on doors, text and call, and encourage people to vote. 

She ended her speech by stating that both she and President Joe Biden love the community. 

Dr. Jill Biden’s appearance at Pride was met with mixed reactions. Some people in the audience began to chant “Free Palestine” at Biden throughout her speech as they expressed frustration at the president for the lack of a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict in Gaza. 

Tia (she/her) is a recent Point Park grad who majored in journalism. She loves all things movies, music, and Pittsburgh! As the summer 2022 QBurgh intern, she’s looking forward to writing about Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ community and highlighting all the cool people doing cool things in the community.