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Trans activist who heckled Obama: There is no Pride until immigrants are free

Nick Duffy June 26, 2015

A trans activist who heckled President Obama at a Pride reception has claimed there “is no Pride” for LGBT people until the government stops deporting immigrants.

Activist Jennicet Gutiérrez was removed from the White House on Wednesday night during a reception for LGBT Pride Month.

The US President and Vice President Joe Biden were hosting an annual Pride reception, when the incident occurred partway through Obama’s speech.

The heckler continued to yell slogans including “stop all deportations”. Obama told the protester: “You know what? It’s not respectful when you get invited to somebody’s house. You’re not gonna get a good response from me by interrupting me like this. Shame on you.”

In an op-ed for the Washington Blade, Ms Gutiérrez, who says she is an undocumented Mexican immigrant, has claimed there can’t be Pride until LGBT immigrants are free.

The activist wrote: “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 colour being targeted,’ his administration holds LGBTQ and trans immigrants in detention. I spoke out because our issues and struggles can no longer be ignored.”

She continued: “Last night I spoke out to demand respect and acknowledgement of our gender expression and the release of the estimated 75 transgender immigrants in detention right now.

“There is no pride in how LGBTQ immigrants are treated in this country and there can be no celebration with an administration that has the ability to keep us detained and in danger or release us to freedom. 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.”

Watch the clip below:

More: activist, Barack Obama, Equality, Gay, heckler, immigrant, immigration, LGBT, obama, Pride, Trans, Transgender, US

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