It wasn’t easy coming out twice -- once as undocumented and also queer. I had to live with the constant fear of deportation to a place that would never accept me and with the constant fear of the abuse I could face in detention. Since then, I’ve received my green card, but the reality remains the same for the more than 267,000 people who identify as both undocumented and LGBTQ.
So while last week’s marriage equality announcement means that my own marriage to my partner Isabel is now not only recognized by the both of us, but by every state in this country- it isn’t enough.
That’s why on Tuesday, I joined more than 70 protesters in front of the White House to demand an end to LGBTQ detention and deportation.
Now it’s your turn to stand with us.
6 of us blocked the busiest DC intersection (and we’re arrested!) while nine others staged a “die-in” to symbolize the undocumented LGBT immigrants who have died while in detention and those who have lost their lives after ICE deported them to their countries of origin.
For LGBTQ immigrants, deportation isn’t just separation from friends and family, it can be a death sentence. More than 80 countries around the world criminalize same-sex relations, and many more countries offer no institutionalized government protections for LGBTQ immigrants.
And in detention, transgender immigrants are often tortured by being placed in solitary confinement for their ‘protection’ or continue to be placed in facilities with the inappropriate gender where they are sexually harassed and even raped. This is unacceptable and has to stop.
Sign the petition to demand Barack Obama and Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stop the cruel detention, abuse, torture, and deportationof the most vulnerable in our communities!
President Obama has the power to stop this enforcement system that continues to terrorize our community and profit from our incarceration, and we’re know if enough of us speak up and take action, we can make sure his administration ends these practices immediately because our communities should not live with the fear of being deported. Because we need liberation, not deportation. Because no one should should have to face such horrific conditions for simply being who they are.Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez
Deputy Managing Director| United We Dream