United We Dream Demands Apology from HRC

Yesterday QUIP leader, Jerssay Arredondo, was asked by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to speak in front of thousands of people in front of the Supreme Court to repeal DOMA. Just before getting on stage he was told to not say he was Undocumented! —United We Dream

The YouTube auto transcription feature doesn’t do a good job of translating this video. We’ve provided a transcript below.

[Applause] [Beginning of podium speech]: Hello everyone, I want to take this moment to…
(personal interview): My name is Jerssay Arredondo. I am undocumented, queer, unashamed, and unafraid. I am sharing these identities with you right now because yesterday morning I was forced back into the closet. The “Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project”, a project of “United We Dream”, was invited by the Human Rights Campaign to speak at the rally to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA. (Snipits of speech can be heard during this pause “love each other and support each other.”) Prior to getting on stage, my speech was revised. I was told not to share the reality of what it means to be an undocuqueer immigrant in this country.

[New voice]: Our real life struggles and daily challenges as LGBTQ people are not acknowledged, but rather continue to be pushed into the closed and excluded from the dominant narrative. It is not enough for LGBTQ communities to say that they’re in solidarity with our struggle. Solidarity is love reflected through actions and support. Our intent yesterday was to share our stories, our struggles, and our experiences to shed light on the complexity of the issue, and we weren’t even afforded that opportunity.

[Third voice]: As an immigrant youth movement, we hold each other accountable and we will hold LGBTQ AND immigrant rights organizations accountable to ensure we are working towards social justice for all. In order to ensure continued solidarity, we are asking for a public apology from the Human Rights Campaign’s leadership.

–Transcribed by Mera Kelley-Yurdin