(This April 25 story has been refiled to correct the spelling of Jean-Pierre’s first name in paragraph 2)
By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The cast of American TV show “The L Word: Generation Q” visited the White House Tuesday to mark Lesbian Visibility Week, touting the role the long-running show has played for gay women and girls across the country.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the first openly gay White House press secretary, welcomed the cast, saying it was “incredibly important” for young people to see characters in books and on television whose life stories and identities inspire them “to reach their highest potential.”
Shows like “The L Word” that tell LGBTQ stories help “save precious lives,” she said, adding the show made her feel less alone as she grew up.
The fictional Showtime drama that first debuted in 2004 inspired a reality TV spinoff and then a sequel 15 years later.
“This work is more important than ever as the LGBTQI+ community continues to face relentless attacks from some Republicans across the country,” Jean-Pierre said. “From books bans to ‘don’t say gay’ laws, MAGA extremists want to roll back the visibility and progress we fought so hard to achieve.”
Conservative lawmakers have led a wave of nationwide actions in recent months that include banning discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in schools and clamping down on drag shows, restrictions that they argue are necessary to protect children.
Ilene Chaiken, who created “The L Word” in 2004, said she was delighted the show had lived on and was now speaking to a new generation.
“They may try to erase our stories from classrooms and libraries, but we’re here. We’re here today at the White House, and we won’t be erased,” she said.
Jean-Pierre has previously used the White House podium to support LGBTQ rights, calling on states earlier this month to stop what she described as “legislative bullying.”
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Rosalba O’Brien)