Centering LGBTQ voices of color after Orlando

In the 24 hours after I learned about the shooting at Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, I rallied hard on social media, encouraging people to get involved in the fight for increased gun control in this country. Guns certainly play a major role in this horrible tragedy, but the stories from the community directly affected in Orlando, the LGBTQ, Latinx community and communities of color, are largely being erased in mainstream media coverage and in much of the political discourse. I’ve stopped talking about guns and have instead focused on listening to LGBTQ voices and learning about their lived reality pre and post-Pulse.

Today, I’m sharing with you all several articles and videos (with pulled excerpts) that center the experiences of LGBTQ people of color. I hope you absorb these authors’ and activists’ words and feel inspired to act, not just in favor of increased gun control, but for the liberation of the LGBTQ community.

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In praise of Latin Night at the Queer Club, by Justin Torres

People talk about liberation as if it’s some kind of permanent state, as if you get liberated and that’s it, you get some rights and that’s it, you get some acknowledgment and that’s it, happy now? But you’re going back down into the muck of it every day; this world constricts. You know what the opposite of Latin Night at the Queer Club is? Another Day in Straight White America. So when you walk into the club, if you’re lucky, it feels expansive. “Safe space” is a cliché, overused and exhausted in our discourse, but the fact remains that a sense of safety transforms the body, transforms the spirit.

When the One Place That Feels Like Home is Invaded, by Miriam ZoilaPérez

But now we are reminded. We are reminded that we are not that far from our violent history of rejection, policing, hostility. We are reminded that the first Pride was a riot, one led by queer and trans women of color, who were fighting back against the violence they faced at the hands of the police. And we will have to continue to remember that this violence will not be solved by increased violence against the Muslim community or calls for the war on terror. These terrors stem from so many of the ills our society continues to foster—homophobia, racism, transphobia, Islamophobia and an unwillingness to address gun violence.

Dear White, Hetero, Cis People: Please Don’t Co-Opt This Tragedy, by Mariella Mosthof

If healing is what we want, then we must give the marginalized voices targeted by this tragedy the space to articulate their suffering. This is what will emancipate them of their pain. This is what will empower others in communities who are suffering. If you are an ally, of course, your suffering matters too, and you are welcome to express your emotions. But, today, let searing indictments and heartbreaking personal accounts come from queer people, and especially queer communities of color.

Pulse, by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

and i don’t know if it would hurt more
to lose you later after knowing you
i don’t know if it would hurt more
to know you died on your own day
by your own hands
or any of the other systems
that stalk you and me and ours forever

i only know the pain that i am having
and that you are not here to share it
you are not here to bear it
you were going to pass me a candle at the next vigil

but now i am pulse

and now you
are flame.

Trans and Queer Latinxs Respond to #PulseOrlando Shooting

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Honoring the victims, #saytheirnames

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

 

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