Transgender Teen Welcomed To White House To Mark Return Of Pride Celebrations
Transgender teen Ashton Mota was invited to the White House yesterday as Pride celebrations resumed again under the presidency of Joe Biden.
During the presidency of Donald Trump, Pride celebrations largely disappeared, but Biden has now reversed this trend, to the joy of many.
Mota began by saying, ‘My name is Ashton Mota, I use he/him pronouns, and I’m honoured to be here with you all today. I am a 16-year-old Black, Afro-Latino high school student from Lowell, Massachusetts. I also happen to be transgender.’ Mota then went on to detail his experience and the importance of supporting transgender rights.
As per People, Mota detailed how he felt about telling his mother that he was transgender at age 12:
I was scared because I didn’t know how she would react, but she told me she loved me. That I was her child and that she would support me so I could be the person I was meant to be.
The 16-year-old also discussed the discrimination that transgender people are facing and said that there is ‘headline after headline about bill after bill that prevent us from joining a sports team, receiving healthcare, or even just using the bathroom’. On the back of this, Mota concluded, ‘This is why passing the Equality Act is so important.’
The Equality Act would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and was one of Biden’s key legislation priorities on his campaign trail. The House of Representatives has approved the measure, but it still needs 60 votes in the Senate to survive a filibuster.
Biden responded to the speech by noting that he ‘seemed awfully comfortable up here’, and added, ‘Your story, your leadership and your mom is just an inspiration.’
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