The Heartbreakingly Beautiful Responses to the Orlando Massacre You Have to See (Multimedia)
All over the internet, responses to Sunday’s Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando, Fla., have been painfully moving. Here are just some of the most powerful tributes — in the form of videos, photos and written pieces — we found.
NowThisNews put together a video showing some of the names and faces of the lives lost in the Pulse nightlub attack on Sunday morning:
Members of the Latino trans and queer community responded to the tragedy:
Author Justin Torres wrote a moving tribute for The Washington Post titled, “In Praise of Latin Night at the Queer Club.”
Outside, there’s a world that politicizes every aspect of your identity. There are preachers, of multiple faiths, mostly self-identified Christians, condemning you to hell. Outside, they call you an abomination. Outside, there is a news media that acts as if there are two sides to a debate over trans people using public bathrooms. Outside, there is a presidential candidate who has built a platform on erecting a wall between the United States and Mexico — and not only do people believe that crap is possible, they believe it is necessary. Outside, Puerto Rico is still a colony, being allowed to drown in debt, to suffer, without the right to file for bankruptcy, to protect itself. Outside, there are more than 100 bills targeting you, your choices, your people, pending in various states.
You have known violence. You have known violence. You are queer and you are brown and you have known violence. You have known a masculinity, a machismo, stupid with its own fragility. You learned basic queer safety, you have learned to scan, casually, quickly, before any public display of affection. Outside, the world can be murderous to you and your kind. Lord knows.
But inside, it is loud and sexy and on. If you’re lucky, it’s a mixed crowd, muscle Marys and bois and femme fags and butch dykes and genderqueers. If you’re lucky, no one is wearing much clothing, and the dance floor is full. If you’re lucky, they’re playing reggaeton, salsa, and you can move. … The media will spin the conversation away from homegrown homophobic terrorism to a general United States vs. Islamist narrative. Mendacious, audacious politicians — Republicans who vote against queer rights, against gun control — will seize on this massacre, twist it for support of their agendas.
But for a moment, I want to talk about the sacredness of Latin Night at the Queer Club. Amid all the noise, I want to close my eyes and see you all there, dancing, inviolable, free.
The Washington Post compiled photos of how the Pulse victims are being honored around the world:
CNN’s Anderson Cooper delivered a moving tribute to the victims of the massacre:
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) June 14, 2016
Angel Colon, who was shot five times during the attack, told the world his harrowing story:
Here are what some of the late-night show hosts had to say about the horrific event:
And Alexander Chee’s call to action in The New Republic, titled “The Courage of Being Queer,” is a poignant reminder of the work that lies ahead:
There are multiple reports now that Omar Mateen, the Orlando gunman, was possibly closeted. A male classmate in his police academy class has come forward to say Mateen asked him out ten years ago. Regulars at Pulse recognize him. He was, at the time of the shooting, a private security guard so violent and frightening that a co-worker quit after the company would not take action. He was also, apparently, a man who had gay friends. When he was younger, he used to hang out with a gay drag queen waiter friend at a Ruby Tuesdays in Jensen Beach.
Many are confused by this. Why would he do this? Isn’t it easier to come out today? We may never know. Studies have shown that men who repress their homosexuality due to authoritarian fears can create tremendous homophobic violent outbursts. Instead of attacking what oppresses them, they attack what they fear will betray them. They fill up with a deadly obedience. If Mateen was closeted, out of fear, he made a little more of the world he feared when he opened fire that day.
We have always known that the protection we feel in a queer club is illusory. We’re in the club, but we’re still in America. Some of those shot at Pulse during the attack last weekend could effectively be outed by being there, and lose their jobs if their employer decides they don’t want a LGBT person working for them. One survivor is undocumented and closeted, and perhaps unable to connect to the family of his lover. The lack of protections for us is structural, designed to leave us weaker, vulnerable to harm. Everything that happened last Saturday happened because the laws of the land point to it and let it happen.
As I read the stories of the victims, and grieve for them, I am reminded that if there is anything that being gay during the age of AIDS has taught me, it is how to turn grief into resolve. We can honor the dead—their bravery, their openness, and their memory—by making the world they dreamed of into a reality for the living.
— Posted by Natasha Hakimi ZapataWait, before you go…
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