June marks the annual Pride Month in celebration and support of the LGBT community. Around the nation, there will be parades, and 2019 is particularly important because it marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
One California baker and neuroscientist, Jiwandeep Kohli, went viral for his expression of Pride. Kohli — who is Sikh — showed off his turban that featured the colors of the LGBT flag.
I’m proud to be a bisexual bearded baking brain scientist. I feel fortunate to be able to express all these aspects of my identity, and will continue to work toward ensuring the same freedom for others. #PrideMonth #PrideTurban #LoveIsLove pic.twitter.com/SVhc0iwDF0
— Jiwandeep Kohli (@jiwandeepkohli) June 1, 2019
“I’m proud to be a bisexual baking brain scientist,” he wrote on Twitter. “I feel fortunate to be able to express all these aspects of my identity and will continue to work toward ensuring the same freedom for others.”
The photo of the turban went viral, with almost 60,000 likes in three days.
“A few years ago, I saw a photo of another Sikh man at a pride parade who had a few colors in his turban,” Kohli told BuzzFeed News. “I was looking at that, and I realized the way I tie mine it had the exact right number of layers to make a rainbow.”
It even reached former President Barack Obama.
“You’ve got a lot to be proud of, Jiwandeep,” Obama wrote. “Thanks for everything you do to make this country a little more equal.”
You've got a lot to be proud of, Jiwandeep. Thanks for everything you do to make this country a little more equal. Turban looks great, by the way. Happy Pride Month, everybody! https://t.co/SO7mgnOkgl
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 4, 2019
The California viral sensation responded to Obama.
“I’m a fairly verbose person, but today I am lost for words,” Kohli wrote. “Thank you for your support and the compliment, Mr. Obama.”
I’m a fairly verbose person, but today I am lost for words. Thank you for your support and the complement, Mr. Obama. If I can ever repay them with pastries, please let me know! https://t.co/ZjJzXN4MM6
— Jiwandeep Kohli (@jiwandeepkohli) June 4, 2019
During his administration, Obama made a number of moves supporting the LGBT community, many of which are listed on the archived page for his White House. Under Obama, Congress passed a law protecting the LGBT community against hate crimes and repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Trump has enacted a number of policies targeting the LGBT community, most infamously announcing that he was banning transgender troops from the military. Just after Trump came into the Oval Office, all mentions of the LGBT community were wiped from the White House website.