Joe Biden Names Carlos Elizondo, An Out Gay Man, As White House Social Secretary




President-elect Joe Biden has named the first out member of his White House staff — Carlos Elizondo, a gay man who will be the White House Social Secretary.

A native Texan, Elizondo previously served as a special assistant to President Barack Obama and as social secretary for then-Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden during the Obama administration. He was the first Hispanic American to serve in such a role.

During the Obama administration, another out gay man, Jeremy Bernard, was named as White House social secretary. Bernard was the first man to hold the position.

The social secretary is responsible for the planning, coordination, and execution of official social events at the White House, the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. They coordinate events as simple as a single guest to large dinners for hundreds of guests, including visits by heads of state.



Elizondo, an event planner who lives in Washington, D.C. with his partner, will be part of what is already being described as the “most diverse administration in history.”

While Elizondo is the first openly LGBTQ person to be named to a prominent position within the Biden White House or cabinet, it is unlikely he will be the last.

Biden is expected to announce more LGBTQ+ staffers in the coming days. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind. who is currently serving on Biden’s transition team, is also expected to be named to a position within the Biden administration.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the out lesbian chief of staff for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, is reportedly on the shortlist to become the next White House Press Secretary.