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Why I March

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MarcoandMomAs someone who is both an undocumented DREAMer and gay, I know what it’s like to be excluded. When I came out of the closet as gay, for a time, I lost my family’s support. When I came out as undocumented, I risked losing the country I’ve always called home. My little brother is also gay, and we’re separated by an ocean. I march for him.

This week in Florida, I marched with Latino LGBT immigrants to raise my voice for all our families, and express the heartbreak we feel right now. I wasn’t alone: my mom and a group of other DREAMers’ moms stood with us. It is devastating, baring the details of your life and having those details minimized and ignored. My family is part of the 11 million. My family was also left behind this week.

It’s hard to watch politicians talk about me as if I don’t exist. Not only were our LGBT families painfully left behind, but politicians used my family as an excuse for discrimination. When politicians and pundits talk about the Latino community and the gay community as separate communities, they exclude me. They exclude my family. This false separation hurts our communities.

This false narrative minimizes the hard work that my fellow activists, LGBT DREAMers, have made for common sense immigration reform that will help everyone, the sweat at rallies, the tears in Congressional meetings.

In Miami, I marched with two parents who miss their son terribly. They’ve spent 33 years building a life in Miami. Their son went to high school with Marco Rubio. Their son was forced to move to Thailand with his partner, just because they’re gay. Latino families in Miami, and across the country feel the loss of our family members who cannot share in the American dream simply because of who they love.

For everyone who seeks to overlook us, I raise my voice. I am not invisible. I’m here, with my mom, and we will raise our voices until no one is left behind.

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