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?”