Why Jennicet Gutiérrez Interrupted President Obama at White House Pride

By Aura Bogado Jun 25, 2015

President Obama was hosting a Pride event at the White House Wednesday when he was interrupted by a trans woman named Jennicet Gutiérrez—urging him to “release all LGBTQ immigrants from detention.” The president responded with annoyance, erroneously claiming, “You’re in my house.” Vice President Biden buried his head in his hands. And a bunch of men, seemingly eager to get a selfie with the president, shut Gutiérrez down before she was escorted out:


Immigrant detention is fraught with violence—but can be especially dangerous for trans women. According to Fusion, trans women face a disproportionate amount of sexual assault in detention.

In an essay over at Washington Blade, Gutiérrez, who works with FamiliaQTLM and whose action was part of the #Not1More campaign, explained her motivation for speaking up:

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

You can read Gutiérrez entire statement over at the Washington Blade