Trans Activist Who Bared Breasts at WH Has a Message

Rose Montoya says sorry for topless stunt at Pride Month event, blames it on 'overwhelming trans joy'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2023 6:11 AM CDT
Updated Jun 17, 2023 10:00 AM CDT
Fox Blasts White House Pride Flag as 'Grooming'
American flags and a Pride flag hang from the White House before a Pride Month celebration on the South Lawn on Saturday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
UPDATE Jun 17, 2023 10:00 AM CDT

A transgender activist who went topless during a White House Pride Month celebration last weekend, then showed it to the world via video, is now offering her mea culpa. "Today, I need to apologize," Rose Montoya said in a video posted Friday to Twitter, referencing the footage from the previous Saturday that showed her with her hands over her breasts after she'd pulled her dress down, per the Hill. "In a quick moment of fleeting and overwhelming trans joy, I decided to do something unbecoming of a guest of the president at the White House lawn celebration." After saying sorry to President Biden and her fellow citizens, Montoya added that, in the future, she'd express that trans joy "in a more effective way." She also said she and her loved ones had seen intense harassment since the video circulated, noting it had become "weaponized by vile people of the opposition."

Jun 15, 2023 6:11 AM CDT

The White House has marked Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways, including hosting a celebration on Saturday and prominently hanging a Pride flag from the White House itself, facing the South Lawn. Now, Fox News is taking heat for the way it described the latter. The flag, a variation on the traditional Pride flag, is called the Progress Pride Flag, adding white, pink, blue, brown, and black stripes to the standard rainbow colors. The Human Rights Campaign explains that those additions represent the transgender community, as well as people of color and those who lost their lives during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the '80s and '90s. But Fox's explanation of the flag was a little different, and incited instant backlash.

Mediaite reports that both a headline and tweet for a story by Kerry J. Byrne read: "White House flew controversial new transgender flag that promotes grooming and pedophilia, say critics." Within the article itself was also a quote from the founder of far-right anti-LGBTQ+ group Gays Against Groomers that read, "The flag represents to us an ideology, a political statement of indoctrinating kids and trans kids and pushing kids to sterilize and mutilate themselves." After strong pushback from advocacy groups such as GLAAD, and by White House spokesperson Andrew Bates, Fox deleted the original tweet, changed some of the article's text, and altered the headline, which now reads, "White House flew controversial new transgender flag that troubles some critics in the gay community." Mediaite notes that no mention is made within the article about the corrections.

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Some also pointed out that, on page 25 of Fox Corporation's own "Corporate Social Responsibility Report" from 2022, the Fox logo appears on a page about inclusion and diversity painted in the colors of the Progress Pride Flag. That wasn't the only LGBTQ+ tiff the White House and conservatives found themselves embroiled in this week. Yahoo notes that some right-wingers also falsely claimed that the way the White House hung the flag—in between two American flags—violated the US Flag Code (Forbes explains why that's not the case). Meanwhile, a transgender activist was banned from future White House events after posing topless in photos and video taken during the White House celebration Saturday. "This behavior is inappropriate and disrespectful for any event at the White House," a White House spokesperson said, per NBC News. (More Fox News stories.)

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