Showing posts with label bisexuals in the White House. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bisexuals in the White House. Show all posts

Thursday, September 04, 2014

BiNet USA In The White House Photo Blast #whatbilookslike

After receiving special permission from The White House, I'm pleased to share with you some exclusive photos from my trip to the White House for the Executive Order signing in July 2014. You can read more about my trip over at The Bilerico Project.

On July 21st, 2014, I was the first president of a bisexual non-profit organization to have a meeting with a President and stand on stage to witness a Executive Order signing.
Click here to visit The White House website to watch the whole video of the signing.

That's me standing next to black transgender icon Kylar Broadus!
Speaking with President Obama I identified myself as the first president of a bisexual non-profit to meet with him and stand beside him on stage as he signed an Executive Order.

This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. 

Some other photos from my visit:
Screenshot of me hugging President Obama after he finished signing. Screenshot courtesy of Gary North.

With Kylar Broadus as we waited for President Obama in the Blue Room of The White House. Photo: Faith Cheltenham

Selfie in the bathroom. Sadly the necklace began to break right after this photo and only lasted through the ceremony *WHEW* Photo: Faith Cheltenham
Selfie with HRC President Chad Griffin as we waited for President Obama in the Blue Room of The White House. Photo: Faith Cheltenham
15 years ago I handed Gov. Terry McAuliffe (VA) an HRC sweatshirt as an HRC intern! Photo: Faith Cheltenham
Selfie with senior Senior Advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett. Photo: Faith Cheltenham
Selfie with Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop! Photo: Faith Cheltenham
Bo and Sunny just finished getting walked. I felt the need to take a picture of them. Photo: Faith Cheltenham
Selfie with Stacey R. Long, Esq. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs. Photo: Faith Cheltenham
After The White House I got to visit with bisexual icon Loraine Hutchins. Thanks for the awesome iced coffee! Photo: Faith Cheltenham

Photo: So honored to have spent this evening with the Executive Director of BiNet USA, who earlier today stood by President Obama as he signed an historic order on LGBT employment non-discrimination. The moment was also historic being the first time a representative of a bisexual organization was invited on stage for such a signing. #bivisibility #quistory
After hanging with Loraine I headed to Quist co-founder and Google Block Breaker Sarah Prager's home with her wife Liz. Awesome pizza was had, though I may have gotten bit by some chiggers on my way out! Photo: Faith Cheltenham
Many thanks to Gautam Raghavan, White House Office of Public Engagement for the invitation.

Additional thanks to the Board of BiNet USA, The Bisexual Resource Center, The Bisexual Organizing Project, and The NY Area Bisexual Network for sharing the photos widely and cheering me on virtually.

Much love,
Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President

I was *really nervous* standing up there on stage! I just kept saying to myself "Don't start a freaking international incident by accidentally putting up bunny ears on the President" and "For the love of Goddess don't do anything that will become a meme!" Well I did end up in a meme after all. Just the first second thankfully. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bi/Pan/Fluid Activists Painting the White House Pink, Purple and Blue!

Hello everyone!

I'm still settling in, back home to DFW from a wonderful time at the Annual White House LGBT Pride Month Reception (a mouthful!). It was very exciting, I am so happy to have been able to experience such an awesome excursion, it was just AMAZING.

President Obama giving his speech, photo credit: Morgan Goode

Taken from Lorain Hutchins website: "At the 2012 White Pride reception bisexuals were represented by a married couple, Emily Drennen and LindaSusan Ulrich, from San Francisco with their eight-week-old foster son;  two current BiNet USA board members, Chiquita Violette and Morgan Goode; BOP co-chair, Lauren Beach; Westchester County NY bi discussion group leader, Estraven; and two longtime southern California bi activists from the board of the American Institute of Bisexuality; Denise Penn and Regina Reinhardt."

L-R: Regina Reinhardt, Morgan Goode, Emily Drennen, LindaSusan Ulrich holding RJ, Lauren Beach, Chiquita Violette, Estraven, Denise Penn, photo credit: Morgan Goode

The first event I attended was the Briefing on Issues Impacting LGBTQ Youth. There are many issues they face, not limited to but including: substance abuse, mental health, child welfare and education and bullying. Very informative and comforting to see that our government is doing something to improve the lives of our LGBT youth. The panel was very passionate about their cause and each were working together, in different organizations but still interconnected and working for the same cause: bettering the lives of our youth, not just LGBT youth, but all American youth.

Robert and I after Obama's speech, photo credit: Robert Camina
While I was at the briefing, I encountered Ms. Nicole Maines, a transgender youth that I first read about not too long ago on Huffington Post written by her dad. His articles can be found here.  When the briefing opened up for Q&A, her father, Wayne Maines, was one of the first inquiring about the issues transgendered children face in school and how to reach the parents of students to educate them. When I got the chance later on to speak with Nicole, she was very lovely and nice. I told her that I read about her story and how moved I was. She smiled, nodded but still had this sad look on her face. So I asked her if she needed a hug. She nodded. I gave her a hug and a pat on the back. It was very sweet. We didn't speak long but I wanted to express and show her that people outside her family care about her and her cause and issues.I also ran into fellow Dallas activist and film maker Robert Camina who did the documentary on the Rainbow Lounge Raid. A happy surprise to catch up with him!

After the briefing, we (Emily and her wife Lindasusan, Morgan and I) headed downstairs to the Uncommon Cafe in the Eisenhower building for lunch with one of the panelists, David Mineta of ONDCP. What a treat to get up close and personal. He is very passionate about the nation's youth, especially when it comes to substance and alcohol abuse. Next we checked out the gift shop before starting on our way to the reception.

By the time we reached the entrance to White House and were cleared to get in, we had caught up with Estraven and Lauren. There was nothing like walking into the White House. Everyone was so polite. "Welcome to the White House." at every turn. We explored as many rooms as possible, pausing in the ladies room for a mini photo-shoot, before heading upstairs where the reception was being held. What a sight! Music, champagne, wines and other beverages were being served along with delicious hors d'oeuvres.

After filling up on the White House delights, we headed to the room in which the President would make his speech. It was filing up quickly so we ran up to get as close to the front as possible while an ocean of people began to fill the room. I was able to get close enough to the front to get a video (albeit shaky with background noises and commentary) of the President's speech.

After his speech, he went down the rope and shook hands with eagerly extended hands. I got my handshake in while I quickly mentioned the ENDA and DREAM Act and their importance. We went out the the reception area for more drinks and appetizers to socialize, take photos and to really let the whole experience soak in. Shortly afterward, I heard cheers and clapping,  people were forming a circle around someone on a bended knee making a proposal, it was pretty amazing! We lingered a little while longer for more White House exploration and photos before we headed to dinner at Rasoi Indian Kitchen.
Dinner after the White House, photo credit: Estraven
We met up with fellow activists Loraine Hutchins, Matthew Le Grant and John Craig to celebrate our experiences at the White House, the issues we face as bi/pan/fluid individuals and new ideas to help address these problems. All in all, it was a extremely awesome day, full of allure and excitement so much so that the feeling of elation was almost overwhelming. I wouldn't trade these experiences and memories for the world!