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White House 'Heckler' On Why She Interrupted Obama

White House 'Heckler' On Why She Interrupted Obama


Jennicet Gutiérrez is an undocumented trans Latina leader.

Photo via The Advocate

When an undocumented trans Latina women, later identified as Jennicet Gutierrez, interrupted President Obama at the White House's official LGBT Pride celebration, he shut her down. It was a controversial confrontation, and one that has polarized media coverage. In the Washington Blade, Gutierrez offers her side of the story.

Below is some of what she has to say:

"I was fortunate to be invited to the White House to listen to President Obama's speech recognizing the LGBTQ community and the progress being made. But while he spoke of 'trans women of color being targeted,' his administration holds LGBTQ and trans immigrants in detention. I spoke out because our issues and struggles can no longer be ignored."

"Immigrant trans women are 12 times more likely to face discrimination because of our gender identity. If we add our immigration status to the equation, the discrimination increases. Transgender immigrants make up one out of every 500 people in detention, but we account for one out of five confirmed sexual abuse cases in ICE custody."

"It is heartbreaking to see how raising these issues were received by the president and by those in attendance. In the tradition of how Pride started, I interrupted his speech because it is time for our issues and struggles to be heard. I stood for what is right. Instead of silencing our voices, President Obama can also stand and do the right thing for our immigrant LGBTQ community."

Read Gutierrez's full piece on the Washington Blade.

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