U.S. President Barack Obama scolded a heckler at an event honoring the LGBTQ community before having her removed by White House personnel.
Obama was halfway through his speech when a Mexican transgender woman, now identified as Jennicet Gutiérrez, started yelling at him to close deportation centers.
At first, Obama tried to calm down Gutiérrez with a little bit of humor; however, when the activist refused to stay silent, the president lost his cool.
"Release all LGBTQ in detention centers," Gutiérrez shouted out. "President Obama, stop the torture and abuse of trans women in detention centers."
“Listen, you’re in my house,” Obama said, drawing cheers and applause. “You know what? It's not respectful when you get invited to somebody...You're not gonna get a good response from me by interrupting me like this. I'm sorry.”
"Shame on you," Obama added, "you can either stay and be quiet, or we will have to take you out."
After the activist was escorted out by security, the president continued by saying, “As a general rule, I am just fine with a few hecklers... But not when I'm up in the [White] House.”
Gutiérrez later released a statement about the incident via GetEqual's website.
"The White House gets to make the decision whether it keeps us safe. 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. 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 trans woman, 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?"