Biden’s new press secretary notes all ‘firsts’ at briefing: ‘I am a Black gay..’

Karine Jean-Pierre served as former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s principal deputy until Psaki’s resignation on Friday.
Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C.(Bloomberg)
Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C.(Bloomberg)
Published on May 17, 2022 06:30 AM IST
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Karine Jean-Pierre held her first briefing as White House press secretary on Monday, observing that her ascension to the role of President Joe Biden’s chief spokesperson broke race and sexual-orientation barriers.

“I am obviously acutely aware that my presence at this podium represents a few firsts,” Jean-Pierre told reporters. “I am a Black gay immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position.”

Jean-Pierre, 47, is both the first Black person and openly LGBTQ person to hold the position. The daughter of Haitian parents, she was born in Martinique and raised in New York.

Jean-Pierre served as former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s principal deputy until Psaki’s resignation on Friday.

“I would not be here today if it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me. I stand on their shoulders,” she said, adding, “representation does matter.”

Jean-Pierre will be the seventh woman to hold the post. Dee Dee Myers, President Bill Clinton’s first press secretary, was the first woman to serve in the job.

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