Out of the Closet, Out of the Shadow: LGBTQ Leadership in the Struggle Against Deportation
Thursday, March 31st · 11:30am — 12:30pm
Recent immigrant rights activism has been marked by a striking number of LGBTQ participants, among other groups, who have asserted a common cause and contributed mightily. Their leadership and involvement has had a transformative effect, raising broader awareness of the harsh and inequitable consequences of flawed immigration laws and policy, ultimately contributing to the pressure on the Obama administration to expand a program offering temporary legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants in 2014. The Four Freedoms Fund has recently commissioned a written study and mini-documentary highlighting the transformative role of LGBTQ leadership in fighting harsh immigration enforcement. During this session, through screening the mini-documentary and a panel discussion with prominent LGBTQ immigrant leaders, we will explore several episodes from 2009 to 2015 that mark increasing resistance to the detention and deportation system that has unfairly targeted and criminalized many immigrants, including LGBTQ immigrants. The LGBTQ leaders driving these events have had various points of entry into this work. Most are young and less willing to pigeonhole themselves into predefined categories. Some started their political activism in immigrant rights, others in the LGBTQ sector. Some have been active around LGBTQ issues, and others have not. But their multidimensional identities have overlapped and interacted in powerful ways. Just as they are not single-issue people, they emphasize that communities, and the issues that affect them, are multidimensional. They have linked LGBTQ and immigrant issues around persecution and criminalization of marginalized communities, in the process building a broader social justice base and set of alliances.
Four Freedoms Fund