It has been three years since the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Our staff have been working the last few days to plan a Pride event and it hits home that LGBTQIA+ rights have come so far but have so far to go. Pride events are common. PFLAG and GSA groups are popping up in our schools and communities. We have local therapists and clinics that cater specifically to queer youth. Gay marriage is legal in all 50 states.
And yet, Pulse is a reminder that being able to get married isn’t the end goal. Pulse is a reminder that having a Pride event in your community isn’t the main goal. Pulse is a reminder that feeling safe to be out isn’t the main goal. The main goal is nothing less than complete freedom from oppression for the LGBTQIA+ community.
It is important to remember that many of the victims of the Pulse massacre were Latinx. Racism is just as rampant in our country as homophobia and the oppressions LGBTQIA+ folx experience often intersect. Pride, safety, and community are not just for cis-white-LG and B folks. We have to remember the unique burden racism places on people of color in queer spaces. We have to remember the unique burden transphobia places on trans folks. We have to remember that we’re not free until we are all free.
And we have to remember the role that domestic violence plays in all of this. As a Domestic Violence agency, we have a role to play in addressing mass violence. Most mass murderers have a history of abusive behavior. When we stand together as a community against domestic violence (in all its manifestations), we stand against massacres like Pulse as well. We can’t give up. This work is literally life-and-death.
We remember and mourn the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting and we vow to keep working until every queer space is safe.