Joy Oladokun got a special invitation from the White House.
Videos by American Songwriter
The Americana singer-songwriter, who identifies as queer, performed at the Respect for Marriage Act signing ceremony on the White House’s South Lawn on Tuesday (Dec. 13). She sang “Sunday” and “Jordan” off her critically acclaimed album, In Defense of My Own Happiness, which American Songwriter named one of the best albums of 2021.
“I’m extremely grateful for the chance to perform at the White House yesterday,” Oladokun says in an Instagram post. “The signing of the Respect for Marriage Act means a lot to me as a queer human. Yes, it means I have the ability to marry someone I love, but I think it also serves as a reminder that the loving and accepting world I longed for as a queer kid is not a myth. It’s a reality that we have to build brick by brick every single day. Grateful for President Biden and Vice President Harris for helping build that world and protect that reality.”
Cyndi Lauper and Sam Smith also performed their hits “True Colors” and “Stay With Me,” respectively, and Lauper appeared during the White House press briefing.
“Watching President Biden sign the Respect for Marriage Act was a landmark moment for freedom of love and hopefully just the beginning of the important work ahead to continue to expand the protections of the LGBTQ+, non-binary and transgender communities,” Smith said on Instagram, calling the invitation a “true honor.”
Oladokun shared a photo conversing with Lauper inside the White House, claiming that “True Colors” has “saved my life a few times.” “Thanks @cyndilauper for being an incredible ally, advocate, and hugger. i cried all the way through your performance yesterday,” the Nashville-based singer writes.
“Today, I sign the Respect for Marriage Act into law,” Biden said during the ceremony. “Deciding whether to marry, who to marry, is one of the most profound decisions a person can make…Marriage, I mean this with all of my heart, marriage is a simple proposition: Who do you love and will you be loyal to that person you love? It’s not more complicated than that.”
Photo Credit: Gillian Laub