Throughout the six years of his presidency, President Obama has established himself, for the most part, as a cool, laid-back kind of leader of the world. But on Wednesday, he displayed little patience for a heckler. While speaking at a Pride Month event at the White House, President Obama was heckled by an LGBT activist and immediately shut it down.
"Hey, listen," he said to a woman in a black dress who tried to interrupt his speech. "You're in my house. It's not respectful. Shame on you. You shouldn't be doing this."
The woman in question was identified in a press release as Jennicet Gutiérrez, a representative from the anti-deportation group Not1More. Gutiérrez, who is transgender and undocumented, shouted, "Not one more deportation!" before Secret Service escorted her out of the room.
Obama then good-humoredly added:
As a general rule I am just fine with a few hecklers. But not when I'm up in the house. My attitude is if you're eating the hors d'oeuvres ... And drinking the booze... Anyway, where was I?
Gutiérrez later wrote in a column that she heckled Obama because LGBT and trans immigrants continue to be held in detention, facing torture and abuse. "I spoke out because our issues and struggles can no longer be ignored," she said.
To be fair, Obama has made strides for the LGBT community more so than those before him. He was the first president to openly declare support for marriage equality — though, admittedly, it came under the duress of Vice President Joe Biden's own unplanned announcement — and under his administration, gay marriage has been legalized in 37 states and the District of Columbia.
Now, the Supreme Court's expected decision on whether to legalize same-sex marriage across the nation will come at a time when the community has seen more support from the American public than in any other time before. In a monumental moment in history for the LGBT community in America, there is still plenty of room for improvement, particularly for transgender people, who remain one of the most discriminated groups in the country.
Watch the video of the heckling here: