In recent years, a growing number of immigration activists, many of whom are also part of the LGBT community, have blended the “coming out” philosophy into the immigration movement and are talking openly about their status as undocumented immigrants to bring attention to their experiences. They've been inspired by the late Harvey Milk, one of the nation’s first openly gay elected officials. Milk famously called on the gay community to come out of the closet and live their lives openly.
(RELATED STORY: Undocumented Activists Follow LGBT Tactics.)
Undocumented youths speak with Filipino native Jose Antonio Vargas, a former Washington Post journalist who came out as an undocumented immigrant in 2010 and whose story has since been featured by the New York Times and Time magazine. PHOTOS BY ROSA RAMIREZ
A small group gathered at the University of California (Berkeley) campus to listen to the stories of undocumented immigrants who are telling their story as they journey by foot across the country. They say that the immigrant and LGBT communities have had laws and policies negatively affecting their everyday lives.
Despite the risks, many youths have “come out” as illegal immigrants.
These young activists are drawing inspiration from the likes of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials, who urged the LGBT community to come out of the closet.
National campaigns, such as the “I am UndocuQueer!” art project, try to bring the voices of undocumented illegal immigrants to the forefront.