WASHINGTON (AP) — Transgender advocate Rose Montoya is no longer welcome at White House events after posting on social media a video of herself and two others going topless for a time at Saturday’s Pride Month celebration on the South Lawn.
“The behavior was simply unacceptable,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. “It was unfair to the hundreds of attendees who were there to celebrate their families.”
Speaking at the White House press briefing, Jean-Pierre said, “Individuals in the video certainly will not be invited to future events.” The White House spokeswoman said the bare-chested display “was not a normal thing that has happened under this administration.”
President Joe Biden hosted the event to show the administration’s support of the LGBTQ+ community. There has recently been a push by some Republican leaders at the state level to restrict drag shows and limit the options for youth who are seeking to transition their genders.
Biden said Saturday that he had a message for the entire community, but especially for transgender children: “You are loved. You are heard. You’re understood. And you belong.”
Parts of his speech appeared in the video posted on social media by Montoya, whose Instagram biography identifies her as an educator, model and actor.
Montoya defended her post on Instagram and Twitter, saying that “going topless in Washington, DC is legal and I fully support the movement in freeing the nipple.” She said critics of her toplessness affirmed that she is, in fact, a woman, as a man would not face similar pushback. She said she had “zero intention of trying to be vulgar or be profane in anyway,” adding that she covered her nipples with her hands in the video “just to play it safe.”