Rose Montoya, a trans woman who also advocates for her community, defended her decision to pose semi-topless with other trans activists during a White House Pride event over the weekend. She celebrated Pride with the other attendees and was given the chance to meet the president.
"I had the honor of attending @WhiteHouse Pride, the largest one in history where the pride flag flew for the first time," she wrote on Twitter. "This is trans joy. We're here at the White House unapologetically trans, queer, and brown."
After facing conservative backlash, she defended her decision.
Ms Montoya released a video following the backlash addressing the event and expressing their support for the “free the nipple” movement, which pushes back against the idea that women’s breasts are inherently sexual and should be covered in the name of “decency.”
She also pointed out the conservatives’ hypocrisy; while many refuse to acknowledge trans women as “real” women, she argued that their objection to their breasts only makes sense if they consider them a “real” woman.
“I would just like to say that first of all, going topless in Washington DC is legal and I fully support the movement in freeing the nipple because why is my chest now deemed inappropriate or illegal when I show it off, however before coming out as trans it was not? All you’re doing is affirming that I am a woman. All you’re doing is saying that trans women are women because for some reason people like to sexualize women’s bodies and say that they’re inappropriate,” she said in the video.
“My transmasculine friends were showing off their top surgery scars and living in joy and I wanted to join them. And because it is perfectly within the law in Washington DC, I decided to join them and cover my nipples just to play it safe, because I wanted to be fully free and myself. I had zero intention of trying to be vulgar or be profane in any way. I was simply living in joy, living my truth, and existing in my body. Happy Pride! Free the nipple.”
She shared a video of the event on Twitter. At one point in the video Montoya can be seen exposing their breasts on the White House lawn near the Truman Balcony. A voice can be heard off camera asking "are we topless at the White House?"
A pair of transmasculine individuals who underwent top surgery also posed topless next to Montoya, who uses she/they pronouns.
Some social media commenters — mostly conservatives — offered their apoplectic reactions to the video.
Todd Starnes, a former Fox News staffer who was fired for saying Democrats worship the child-sacrifice-demanding pagan god Moloch, tut tutted at the sight of breasts near the White House.
"Could someone explain why transgender activists were permitted to disrobe in front of children on the White House lawn during Biden's gaypalooza?" he wrote on Twitter, along with the hashtags "pervert" and "criminal."
While children did attend the event, it is unclear if any children were present when the activists posed topless, or if that video was shot in a more secluded portion of the lawn.
CJ Pearson, another former Fox News commenter, lamented the "shame" of the event.
"This is the White House. Joe Biden has brought more shame onto this country than any other President in American history," Mr Pearson, whose presidential preference is a twice indicted former reality television host, wrote.
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik offered similar rage.
“OK, so who is running the f******* White House and allowing this deviant garbage to go on right outside the oval office?” the former official, whose city is known for a man nicknamed "The Naked Cowboy," wrote. “We know it’s not @JoeBiden – this dude has no idea where he is. So who is it? Who is the cause of this international embarrassment?”
Karol Markowicz, a columnist at the New York Post and Fox News, argued that conservatives would condemn a conservative president who "befouled" the White House.
"Again, if a Republican president befouled the White House like this there would be a dozen thinkpieces from conservatives about how wrong it is. Where are the sane liberals calling this disgusting behaviour out?" she wrote on Twitter. "Stop hiding under your beds."
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