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20 • JUNE 22, 2018 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

QUEERY 20 GAY QUESTIONS FOR JORGE GUTIERREZ

Photo Courtesy Gutierrez Winter

By SUYAPA PORTILLO

Jorge Gutierrez packs a lot of punch in his small, tight, brown body. I first met Jorge during a protest action of young activists marching at a May Day Trans Queer Contingent (MDTQC) in downtown Los Angeles in 2015. It was a transformative event for Jorge; he felt compelled to organize a similar march in Orange County and so he set about organizing, eventually establishing Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, a national LGBTQ Latinx organization working at the intersections of LGBTQ and immigrant rights, and racial justice. This was exactly what organizers of MDTQC had hoped would happen. Similar events sprouted up in other cities around the country, demanding that LBGTQI migrants be considered both by immigration reform groups and by our very own LGBTQI movement leaders. His organization led a public campaign to shutdown a transgender ICE detention facility in Santa Ana, California and won. They organized important actions in DC and throughout the country calling for the closing of these detention facilities, abolishing ICE completely and mobilizing the LGBTQ Latinx community across the country. Jorge is first and foremost a strategist, a tactician, always analyzing and breaking down the political climate, thinking through how the collective can approach and pressure the system best.

He is part of a bold, fresh crop of organizers ready to take the streets with his leadership. His willingness to discuss strategy and his appreciation for organizing a base has touched a cord with a community under fire. In an age where millennials spend more time on social media than organizing and talking face to face, Jorge has helped spark an activist immigration policy movement focused on local and national issues, debate with attorneys and politicians, average people and other immigrant workers. I have seen Jorge take on the white establishment, even among the LGBTQ movement, challenge leaders and elected officials and do the nitty gritty work of raising up a national organization. Jorge instinctively knows when to step back and retreat and let LGBTQ Latinx community members lead. When Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement shut down West Hollywood for May Day one year, many white middle class LGBT residents reacted poorly and almost in fear of these trans and queer brown bodies blocking the street. But for Jorge and Familia: TQLM this was all in a day’s work. “Part of my work and Familia: TQLM’s work is to move LGBTQ and immigrant rights organizations to engage in grassroots organizing and direct action. Our people are ready and want direction so it is our duty to step up to the challenge and be movement builders,” he says.

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