In a recent celebration of Pride at the White House, Rose Montoya, a 27-year-old transgender model and activist, found herself at the center of a heated debate. After meeting with President Biden, Montoya made a bold statement by briefly exposing her breasts during the event, with the iconic Truman Balcony and a Pride flag as the backdrop.

The incident drew mixed reactions and ignited a flurry of criticism. Critics labeled it an “international embarrassment,” while others questioned the judgment of White House officials for allowing such behavior on the premises. Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, in particular, voiced his outrage, demanding accountability from those responsible for the incident.

Montoya, however, defended her actions, clarifying that going topless in Washington, DC, is legal. She emphasized that she covered her nipples to remain within the bounds of the law and expressed her support for the movement to “free the nipples.” Montoya’s intention was not to provoke but rather to express herself authentically and celebrate her identity.

During the event, Montoya had the opportunity to meet President Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden. In his speech, President Biden acknowledged the bravery of the LGBTQ+ community, describing its members as some of the most inspiring people he has encountered.

In response to the controversy surrounding her actions, Montoya posted a video addressing the critics who labeled her a “groomer” and defended her right to live and express herself as a transgender woman. She concluded her video by wishing everyone a happy Pride and encouraging the movement to “free the nipple.”

While Montoya’s actions have generated significant backlash, it is important to note that her behavior does not reflect the overall spirit of the LGBTQ+ celebration at the White House. The White House spokesperson expressed disapproval of Montoya’s actions, stating that they were inappropriate and disrespectful. As a consequence, Montoya and the individuals involved in the incident will not be invited to future events.

Amid the controversy, it is essential to recognize that Pride celebrations serve as an important platform for the LGBTQ+ community to advocate for their rights and express their authentic selves. However, it is equally important to maintain decorum and respect the guidelines established for such events.

As discussions continue surrounding this incident, it remains to be seen how it will impact future Pride celebrations and the broader LGBTQ+ community.