Trans woman Jennicet Gutiérrez was disrespectful and I fully support this president, and love that he takes the time to speak during Pride month. Yet there is something more to this than simple “heckling” as mainstream media was quick to frame it.
Jennicet Gutiérrez was talking about transgender woman and men being raped on the wholesale level and what did this woman get? Booed, shushed, drowned out with chants of Obama, OBAMA, even told to shut up by a room full of Black Tie HRC types.
You can tell a lot about the state of a movement based on who is invited to the party and who has to crash it to be heard. #not1more
— Daye Pope (@lightofdaye) June 25, 2015
Then President Obama told her she should be ashamed and had her thrown out of the White House.
Ashamed? Really? I do not think so.
“The White House gets to make the decision whether it keeps us safe,” explains Gutiérrez “There is no pride in how LGBTQ and transgender immigrants are treated in this country. If the President wants to celebrate with us, he should release the LGBTQ immigrants locked up in detention centers immediately.”
There are serious obstacles to gaining transgender asylum seekers fair treatment, some originating from within the LGB community. This comment, believe it or not, was left on the GetEqual website. Doubly incredible is that this transphobic, misogynistic neanderthal’s comment got any likes at all, but there you go.
There’s a reason Jennicet Gutiérrez committed the audacious act of civil disobedience. No one is truly listening about the plight of trans refugees until one gets murdered, then it’s oh that’s so sad, next story, please. I know this is true as a publisher. Articles I’ve written about undocumented trans asylum seekers are some of the least read of all.
That’s exactly why I write them and why we should all listen to advocates like Gutiérrez. WE only raise ourselves up by focusing on our most vulnerable.
The Fusion investigative report WHY DID THE U.S. LOCK UP THESE WOMEN WITH MEN? reads in part.
The United States has long been a haven for those fleeing persecution and oppression. But today, the treatment for asylum seekers can be so terrible that some are asking to be sent back to the very countries they were escaping.
This includes women who are locked up alongside men, sometimes the very men they were trying to escape. They are forced to live with the men, even shower with them. Other times, these women are put in solitary confinement—its own form of torture—for months on end, all in the name of protecting them.
This is life for transgender women in U.S. immigration detention facilities.
Oh by the way, Mr. Obama, the house you are in is the people’s house.