LGBTQ advocates get ready to March June 30

LGBTQ activists will be joining millions of people Saturday, June 30 in marches nationwide to protest refugee family separation and the treatment of detainees.

Many LGBTQ immigrants, particularly transgender women, have suffered in detention facilities that often put them in dangerous situations. Sadly, trans Honduran immigrant, Roxsana Hernández died in detention May 25 after being housed in one of the detention facilities nicknamed "ice boxes" for their bitterly cold temperatures. Roxsana was one of many Honduran immigrants who caravaned to the United States, fleeing violence.

Los Angeles activist Jorge Gutierrez, Executive Director of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement is one of many LGBTQ leaders on the forefront of the issue. He also organized a memorial for Roxsana. "Roxsana's death has infuriated me, but it has re-energized my commitment to abolish ICE, CBP and all prisons. I was one of the first people to talk to her family in Honduras and sharing such painful news with them about their sister broke my heart. So we owe it to Roxsana ... the children in cages, the parents being criminalized and all undocumented people that are experiencing violence at the hands of ICE and CBP to abolish the whole damn deportation machine. We must win!"

The call to abolish ICE, a department created after 9/11, is not new, but it recently got more attention, especially with the win in New York of progressive candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has also called for abolishing ICE.

Asked what LGBTQ people can do beyond the marches this week, Gutierrez urged the community to support LGBTQ and immigrant rights organizations and to stay in the fight. "LGBTQ people need to show up and demand for the abolishing of ICE, prisons, and all cages. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were against prison so we must continue their fight and legacy."

To find a rally on Sat. June 30, visit MoveOn.org or Families Belong Together