Karine Jean-Pierre Becomes First Black Lesbian to Lead White House Press Briefing

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Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House principal deputy press secretary, made history on May 26 as the first out Black lesbian woman to deliver a White House press briefing.

Nearly 30 years ago, Judy Smith, the deputy press secretary to President George H.W. Bush, became the first Black woman to issue statements in the James S. Brady Briefing Room. Now Jean-Pierre, who was born in Martinique but raised in Queens, New York, is following her legacy. According to the Washington Blade, former deputy White House press secretary Eric Schultz became the first out gay man to lead a White House press briefing in 2015.

“It’s a real honor to be standing here today,” Jean-Pierre said. “I appreciate the historic nature. I really do. But I believe that being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building is not about one person. It’s about what we do on behalf of the American people. Clearly, the president believes that representation matters, and I appreciate him giving me this opportunity, and it’s another reason why I think we’re all so proud that this is the most diverse administration in history.”

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