Vice President Kamala Harris’ time in office has been full of plenty of firsts. When she won the presidential ticket, she became the first woman, first Black person, and first Indian person to serve as VP of the United States. Now, six months after her inauguration, she’s once again made history as the first sitting Vice President to march in a Pride parade.
On Saturday, June 12, Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, attended Washington D.C.’s Capital Pride. Harris sported a pink blazer and a shirt that reads, “Love is love,” while Emhoff wore a shirt that says “Love first” in rainbow text.
During her appearance at the pride event, the VP called for approval of the Equality Act, which would provide anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across the country, and reiterated her and President Joe Biden’s commitment to advocating for the LGBTQ+ community.
“We need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are protected. We need, still, protections around employment and housing,” Harris said, according to NBC Washington. “There is so much more work to do, and I know we are committed.”
That same day, the Vice President also acknowledged the fifth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting on Twitter, honoring the 49 people who were killed at the Orlando gay club on June 12, 2016. “Five years ago, 49 LGBTQ+ people and allies were enjoying an evening out at Pulse Nightclub," she wrote. "And then, in an instant, they were gone. Today, we remember those who died and their loved ones-and we recommit to building a world free from gun violence." President Biden also paid tribute to the Pulse victims in a statement of his own.
Harris’ public show of the support comes during a frightening time for LGBTQ+ Americans. In March 2021, HRC reported that 192 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were being considered by state legislatures across the country, with 93 targeted at transgender Americans.
So far, the Biden/Harris administration has kept its promise of advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. They removed former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military members and reinstated transgender healthcare protections, while one of Biden’s first executive orders called for ending discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
“Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or who they love,” the order read. “People should be able to access healthcare and secure a roof over their heads without being subjected to sex discrimination.”