Known to friends as Gaby, this queer latinx community organizer is a force to be reckoned with on the civil rights circuit.

“In Tallahassee there’s an old saying that is still very true,” Garcia-Vera said over coffee at the Alchemist in Wilton Manors. “There are no permanent friends and there are no permanent enemies.”

As a 10-year-old Garcia-Vera went looking for a book to find out why someone at school called him ‘gay.’ He came out to his mother first then sister – both of whom offered loving acceptance. Leaving Puerto Rico for the mainland, Garcia-Vera landed in Miami where he has become a recognized figure in activist circles.

In January, Garcia-Vera protested the new immigration policies of the Trump administration and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s decision to lift a ban on a non-cooperation agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Detainer Requests” are improperly jailing undocumented people, said Gaby.

“The community has not been on high alert since 2013,” Garcia-Vera admitted.

Now 27 with a nose ring, bare bottom Instagram photos and a dedication to the leather and sex positive lifestyle, Garcia-Vera presents as a winner thirsty for more.

“We’ve held spaces to heal and mourn,” Garcia-Vera said. “Where is our space to organize?”


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