Wednesday evening's gathering was supposed to be a cordial reception at the White House to honor LGBT Pride Month. But CNN notes that the president was delivering an address about civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans when he was abruptly interrupted.
The heckler was a Mexican transgender immigrant who repeatedly kept calling the president's name, according to reports. Obama tried asking the woman to remain quiet, to no avail. After a few more interruptions, the president informed her of her location: "No, no, no, no, no. You're in my house," he said.
The president tried to pick up with where he had left off in his speech, but the woman wouldn't be denied. She continued to interrupt the president, and at one point the crowd began booing the woman.
"You know what? It's not respectful when you get invited to somebody … ," Obama continued. "You're not going to get a good response from me by interrupting me like this. I'm sorry."
The president then asked that the heckler be removed. "Shame on you! You shouldn't be doing this," Obama said. "Can we escort this person out? Come on. You can either stay and be quiet, or we'll have to take you out."
After she was removed from the event, the president pointed out why this particular heckle-fest upset him: "As a general rule, I am just fine with a few hecklers," he said. "But not when I'm up in the [White] House. My attitude is, if you're eating the hors d'oeuvres and drinking the booze … anyway, where was I?"
The New York Daily News reported that immigration group NotOneMoreDeportation identified the heckler as Jennicet Gutiérrez, an undocumented transgender Mexican immigrant.
Gutiérrez said in a statement on the immigration group's site on Wednesday, "There is no pride in how LGBTQ and transgender immigrants are treated in this country. If the President wants to celebrate with us, he should release the LGBTQ immigrants locked up in detention centers immediately."