Trans Latina activist interrupts Pride Reception, calling for end to LGBTQ detention

Yesterday, the White House hosted its annual LGBT Pride Reception, an invitation only event for some of the nation’s most well-known and well-respected LGBTQ activists. 

This year, activist Jennicet Eva Gutiérrez, an undocumented trans woman and founding member of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, interrupted the president’s speech in protest of immigration policies harmful to the LGBT community, particularly the detainment and well-documented abuse of transgender people in spaces that do not correspond with their gender identity.

During his brief speech in support of Pride, Gutiérrez interrupted the president to say, “President Obama, release all LGBTQ in detention centers. President Obama, stop the torture and abuse of trans women in detention centers.” The President responded with: “Listen, you’re in my house.” He went on to lecture her about respect, backed by cheers as he asks for her removal from the event.

After the event, Gutiérrez published a statement through Familia‘s Facebook page:

“As I reflect on what just happened at the White House, I am outraged at the lack of leadership that Obama demonstrated. He had no concern for the way that LGBTQ detainees are suffering. As a transwoman, the misgendering and the physical and sexual abuse — these are serious crimes that we face in detention centers. How can that be ignored? It’s heartbreaking to see the LGBTQ community I am part of turning their back on me, and the LGBTQ people in detention centers: how can they tolerate that kind of abuse?”

Watch the full video below:

Header Image Credit: ABC News


Katie Barnes (they/them/their) is a pop-culture obsessed activist and writer. While at St. Olaf College studying History and (oddly) Russian (among other things), Katie fell in love with politics, and doing the hard work in the hard places. A retired fanfiction writer, Katie now actually enjoys writing with their name attached. Katie actually loves cornfields, and thinks there is nothing better than a summer night's drive through the Indiana countryside. They love basketball and are a huge fan of the UConn women's team. When not fighting the good fight, you can usually find Katie watching sports, writing, or reading a good book.

Katie Barnes is a pop-culture obsessed activist and writer.

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