Jennifer White, center left, holds on to her partner Lady Binayan during a vigil at an LGBT community center in Las Vegas. (John Locher / AP)

Noting that generations of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans view nightclubs and bars like Orlando’s Pulse, the scene Sunday morning of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, as places of refuge, Guardian writer Steven Thrasher implores Americans to use their grief to build a better world.

“Bars offered us the illusion of a freedom from terror as queer people, the illusion that there was a place where our sexual desires and our communal need to gather with fellow queers would not be under attack,” wrote Thrasher, a gay man, on Sunday.

This illusion was a lie, of course. Bars were not, and never have been, safe places. This should especially obvious every June when we celebrate Pride month. It’s when we remember the Stonewall riots, when all kinds of queers from all kinds of backgrounds were attacked by police inside a New York City dive bar 47 years ago, in June of 1969. …

But the brave queers at the Stonewall fought back against that. In finding the best spirit of themselves, they started what would become a worldwide movement – a movement that would evolve to fight legal oppression, challenge homophobia, organize around the holocaust of HIV/Aids, and lead to marriage equality many decades later. …

Terrorism works because it makes people afraid of our fellow human beings. Let us not let terrorism work this time. As our ancestors did not at Stonewall, let us not fall to fear.

Let us remember those mourning black families in Charleston – attacked in their sanctuary this very week last year – who looked at Dylann Roof within hours of taking their kin and said “I forgive you” with no malice in their hearts. Let us remember the lack of vengeance they displayed, and how they immediately pivoted from a place of intense grief towards action for building a better world. …

Let us remember that we have never really blamed all Christians, Republicans or Democrats (many who have organized en masse to subject queer people to systematic violence and destruction at different points in American history) for the violence waged against us. We should remember that again today. We should remember not to blame all members of any other religion or political ideology for what one person does.

“Let us not perpetuate the American cycle of violence,” Thrasher continued. “Let us interrupt this nightmare as the creative, loving, justice-seeking American queers that we are, who know well how to look death in the eye and still imagine a new, better living world.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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