One Year After Pulse, Don’t You Dare Come for Any of Us

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June 12, 2017

From Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven:

“This is the first time I am writing as your CEO, and I wish it were about anything else.”

I wrote those words one year ago, on a Sunday morning, sitting in the hallway outside my son’s dance recital. Emails and text messages lit up my phone as I scoured for information, and conferred with my new colleagues about what had happened.

What emerged over the next few hours, days and weeks was a horrific account and, in turn, a devastating reaction.

It was both the worst kind of hate that exists in this country, and the worst kind of targeting — of othering — that manifests when pawns are used to scapegoat those already condemned. When an excuse is made for intolerance.

Conservatives were eager to exploit the massacre for their anti-Muslim agenda — sometimes without even mentioning that most of the 49 victims killed at the Pulse nightclub were gay and queer and trans. But it was, and it is, important to name that they were LGBTQ, that most of them were Latinx and Afrolatinx LGBTQ people and that over half were Puerto Rican.

To have a gay club — a safe space for LGBTQ people of color — invaded in such a heinous way was agonizing.

And then to have our grief colonized to facilitate a racist political agenda was beyond offensive.

Orlando, Pulse, Florida