American Bisexual Community Leaders and Activists Attend 2012 White House LGBT Pride Reception

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[The White House Washington DC USA]: On the afternoon of Friday, June 15th 2012 Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America, hosted a reception to celebrate LGBT Pride month, as he has done for the past four years. The reception began at 4:00 PM.

A military band welcomed guests by playing smooth jazz music. Community leaders, students, politicians, and members of the armed services mingled. There were all kinds of little pastries, mini- grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese puffs being consumed by guests. Tiny cupcakes, and blueberry desserts were there too. All around the room, the clinking of champagne glasses and non-alcoholic beverages were heard.

The place was packed; rough estimates peg the head count at around 500 including eight American bisexual community leaders and activists. The representatives of the Bisexual Community embodied a broad cross-section of our community from across America. They included:

    Emily Drennen is a San Francisco CA based Transportation Policy Analyst who holds an MPA from San Francisco State University and is a graduate of Emerge California‘s program to train women to hold public office. Drennen is active in Bay Area Bisexual Network (BABN) and is married to fellow bisexual activist LindaSusan Ulrich.
    Denise Penn, MSW is an Orange County CA based Clinical Social Worker as well as a writer and editor. Penn a long-time bisexual activist is a Director with the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB)
    LindaSusan Ulrich is a San Francisco CA based bisexual activist who is the principal author of the 2011 San Francisco Human Rights Commission report “Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations“. Ulrich, who is married to fellow bisexual activist Emily Drennen, recently left her position as the Communications Manager/Writer for Horizons Foundation to attend Starr King School for the Ministry on the path towards becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister.

The President entered to deliver remarks just after 5 pm and was met with huge applause. “You have every reason and right to push, loudly and forcefully, for equality,” the President told the assembled LGBT advocates and allies. “But three years ago, I also promised you this . . . we would see progress, we would see success, we would see real and lasting change. And together, that’s what we’re witnessing.”

He went through some of the achievements of his administration on behalf of the LGBTQ Community, from banning health insurers from denying insurance based on sexual orientation and gender identity to repealing the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. The Repeal of DADT was applauded most loudly and energetically. The President recognized some military service members in the audience. “We share your joy at being able to come with your spouses or partners here to the White House with your Commander-in-Chief,” he said.

The administration’s decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) received thundering applause, as well. “Americans may be still evolving when it comes to marriage equality but as I’ve indicated personally, Michelle and I have made up our minds on this issue,” President Obama said, to applause, ending with the assurance, “And as long as I have the privilege of being your President, I promise you, you won’t just have a friend in the White House, you will have a fellow advocate.”

Following the reception the entire group continued on to dinner where they were joined by local bisexual activists including Dr.Loraine Hutchins and Matthew Le Grant.

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