What do I even say? I feel powerless in this moment.
About 30 hours ago, I first heard about the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, which claimed 50 lives and injured over 50 more during their Latin Night. My heart broke. I still feel sick. I am still processing this tragedy.
We create spaces for ourselves in order to fully live our identities, which we cannot fully live in our country without facing some sort of bigotry, oppression, and hate. Pulse was this place for members of the LGBTQ+ and Latin/x community. A safe place. A place of liberation. The more I process this event, the more it dawns on me… there is no completely safe space for marginalized folks.
A lot of political rhetoric and action planning has spawned from these events. Mostly from those not a part of the LGBTQ+ Latin/x community. We need action and we need change but right now we need to stop telling folks what they should be thinking, feeling, or doing. So what can we do right now? We can listen to the experiences of queer and trans* people of color. We can prevent erasure of identity by naming the communities that were targeted. We can stop focusing on the religion and mental health of the shooter and start focusing on the community who was a target of hateful violence. We can realize that this is not an isolated instance; queer and trans* people of color face violence daily. We can remember the names of the people who lost their lives.
I still feel powerless, but I cannot begin to know what people from those communities are going through. We all may be processing some sort of grief or sadness, but please remember, this tragedy hits differently for the people around us. To my LGBTQ+ and Latin/x friends and family, my thoughts, support, and love is with you today and always.