Saturday, November 27, 2021

Transgender Heckler Tells why She Interrupted Pres. Obama

jennicet-gutierrez-barack obama*Days after interrupting President Barack Obama during a an event honoring LGBT Pride Week, Jennicet Gutierrez is shedding light on why she expressed herself during that time last week at the White House.

In an open letter that ran in the Washington Blade on Thursday (June 25), Gutierrez cited her passion regarding “issues and struggles” faced by those in the LGBTQ community that can’t be ignored any longer. The issue especially strikes a nerve in light of the high number of gay, lesbian and transgender immigrants that have been deported under the Obama administration, a fact that contributed to Gutierrez speaking out.

The following is Gutierrez’s open letter in its entirety:

“Pride celebrations of the LGBTQ community are taking place throughout the nation. The community takes great pride in celebrating our diversity and the progress we have made throughout the years. However, for the immigrant LGBTQ community progress has not been fully realized because of the continuous discrimination and violence we face in our daily lives.

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.

The violence my trans sisters face in detention centers is one of torture and abuse. The torture and abuse come from ICE officials and other detainees in these detention centers. I have spoken with my trans immigrant sisters who were recently released from detention centers. With a lot of emotional pain and heavy tears in their eyes, they opened up about the horrendous treatment they all experienced. Often seeking asylum to escape threats of violence because of their gender identity and sexuality, this is how they’re greeted in this country. At times misgendered, exposed to assault, and put in detention centers with men.

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.”

Gutierrez letter comes amid the scrutiny and criticism she faced after speaking out at the White House event, according to RollingOut.

melissa harris-perryAlthough Obama received his fair share of support for his handling of the incident, Melissa Harris-Perry was less than encouraged.

Addressing the president’s accomplishments for the week  on Sunday (June 28), Harris-Perry’s MSNBC show, professor Paul Frymer touched on Gutierrez’s interruption, which stemmed from her being unhappy with “how LGBTQ and transgender immigrants are treated in this country.”

From there, Harris-Perry admitted she was not on board with Obama telling Gutierrez to knock it off as he drove his point in to cheers from the crowd, saying, “You’re in my house!… Shame on you, you shouldn’t be doing this.”

For her , “it’s actually the people’s house.”

“I’m down for talking tough, but I don’t know to the most marginalized person in the room how tough that feels to me,” Harris-Perry told Frymer who labeled the exchange as a moment of “great insensitivity” to Obama.

“It’s odd in the days now following that Friday eulogy [in Charleston] to think of the president as insensitive.,” the MSNBC fixture said.

To see Harris-Perry and Frymer’s segment, check out the video below via MSNBC. The pair’s discussion starts around the 6-minute mark:

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry, Melissa. I have to disagree with you on this one. Regardless of how he/she feels about what’s going down in your community, but disrespect is disrespect. There is time and place to voice your outrage, and since she was so ‘honored’ to be invited to begin with, she should have kept her mouth shut. Melissa, remember the ‘you lie’ quip that was directed at the president during the state of the union address and your response to that? How many times have you, on your show, pointed out instances, and discussed, blatant disrespect of the president? Are you siding with this person as a way to keep your show, and are you going along in order not to offend the gay community?

  2. Sorry dear, you were disrespectful. There are other ways to have your opinions heard. And yes, it is the people’s house, but it is also the Presidents home, and he told you right!

    • Mellissa has an agenda….
      Mr. President did the correct thing to throw out the trash.. Meaning you disrespect me I throw your manly ass out with the trash.

  3. This transgender want the President 2 focus on abuse of transgender I would like the President and the department of Justice 2 look into the abuse of blacks over 400 years and still going thru hell.

  4. It’s amazing how Obama’s being forced to support these freaks but keep getting disrespected. And melissa’s job has already been threatened before because she said something against white people to make them upset so she gotta say something against Obama to keep white people smiling so they can feel comfortable, so she can be on their good side, to keep her job. So she’s just being a good little black girl

  5. Shut it down Melissa. I do not care who it is. The President was disrespected where we the people placed him for 8 years. It is his House as long he is in office.

  6. She was very disrespectful to a President that is trying to help all people in the United States, the President asked her nicely to not interrupt him and she kept going, I would have had her taken out also, this President has done so much for the LGBTQ communities and for her to do this sets everyone back.

  7. Freedom of speech stops at the door of disrespect. Yes the White House is the “Peoples House”. I think this President has shown that over and over again, but this act was wrong plain and simple.

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