Metro Weekly

White House installs rainbow lights, LGBTQ exhibit for Pride Month

The exhibit highlights artifacts from LGBTQ history, including the Stonewall Riots and AIDS epidemic.

White House Pride Month
The White House’s Ground Floor Corridor lit in rainbow colors for Pride Month — Photo: @jordanfabian / Twitter

The White House is celebrating Pride Month with a special LGBTQ exhibition in the Ground Floor Corridor.

Alongside special rainbow lighting illuminating the corridor’s famous arches, the White House has curated an exhibit in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, the Advocate reports.

The exhibit features photos, documents, and memorabilia from figures including Harvey Milk and Marsha P. Johnson, and landmark events such as the Stonewall Riots and the AIDS epidemic.

It also highlights lesser known figures such as President Grover Cleveland’s sister, Rose Cleveland, who “served in the role of White House hostess until his marriage in 1886,” according to the exhibit.

“For almost 30 years, Rose Cleveland maintained a romantic relationship with Evangeline Marrs Simpson Whipple,” it notes. “The women lived together in Italy from 1910, until Rose’s death from the Spanish flu in 1918.”

The couple are buried “side by side” in Italy, and their love letters — housed in the Minnesota Historical Society’s Whipple Collection — were published in 2019.

The Advocate notes that this is the first time the interior of the White House has been lit in rainbow colors.

In 2016, former President Barack Obama ordered the White House lit in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court’s landmark same-sex marriage ruling, legalizing marriage equality nationwide.

President Joe Biden recognized the start of Pride Month this year in an official proclamation, after the Trump administration downplayed or outright ignored it.

“Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity,” Biden’s proclamation stated. “This Pride Month, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.”

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