At White House, 'L Word' cast praises Biden's LGBTQ record

Full Screen
1 / 3

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

"The L Word" cast member Leisha Hailey, center, accompanied by fellow cast members Jennifer Beals, left, and Katherine Moennig, second from left, Television producer and "The L Word" co-creator Ilene Chaiken, right, and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, second from right, speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 25, 2023, to mark Lesbian Visibility Week. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON – Cast members and the creator of the Showtime series “The L Word” praised President Joe Biden on Tuesday for his support of LGBTQ rights.

The groundbreaking show followed the lives of lesbian friends in Los Angeles, struggling with romance and careers. Actors Leisha Hailey, Jennifer Beals and Katherine Moennig and executive producer Ilene Chaiken joined White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the first openly gay woman to hold the job, at a press briefing in honor of Lesbian Visibility Week.

Chaiken said the LGBTQ community is “painfully aware that our struggles are far from over," citing book bans and attacks on members of the community. The Florida state Board of Education approved a ban on classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades last week, expanding the law that bans such lessons up to grade 3 at the request of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as he gears up for an expected presidential run.

“They may try to erase our stories from classrooms and libraries,” Chaiken said, “but we’re here today, here at the White House. We won't be erased."

She praised Biden's record on gay rights.

Hailey spoke about growing up a young gay girl in Nebraska with the support of her parents, which made all the difference for her. She's been visible on “The L Word” for 20 years.

“But visibility is not just the act of being seen, it is the ability to see,” she said. "Even if it feels like you're under attack, know that we see you."

The “The L Word” ran from 2004 to 2009 on Showtime. A sequel called “The L Word: Generation Q” ran from 2019 to early 2023.