Bars have a slightly different function in queer communities than they do for straight folks. We go there to have a good time, but we also go there to feel a little more free. On June 12, that freedom was threatened: a gunman walked into Pulse, an Orlando gay bar, and killed 49 people on a night dedicated to the celebration of the Latinx queer community.
LGBTQ folks are made of strong stuff — we’ve had to be — and in the 48 hours since our community was targeted with this hate crime, queer people across the world have come together in support of their own. L.A. Pride continued as planned on June 12, with performances from Big Freedia and Carly Rae Jepsen. “Y’all gotta continue to stand up and be who you are,” said Freedia during their show. "Be yourselves, but protect yourselves at all times, but don’t take no shit off of no motherfucker!”
In New York, also on June 12, there was a vigil on Christopher Street centering around the Stonewall Inn, the site of 1969's gay rights riots. Today, June 13, bars in London’s Soho will stop serving at 7p.m. for folks to gather on the street and join hands in a show of solidarity.
On social media, LGBTQ-identifying artists have responded with messages of strength and resilience in the face of violence. We have always had to fight to be allowed to love, and live our lives, and the following messages from artists showed that that’s not changing any time soon.
More and more as I get older I forget and perhaps willfully dismiss how insanely lucky and privileged I was to grow up in a very supportive family and school system in so many ways but especially in regards to my homosexuality. The fact that I can count on one hand where I've been verbally gay bashed is a blessing compared to most. When I started the band there were a lot of questions about how to address my sexuality. I said put it in the first bio and let it be. Despite taking longer than most to come out perhaps just because I wasn't comfortable in my skin, by age 24 when we were getting ready to release Horn of Plenty I was comfortable enough to be proudly out in the music community. Initially I never thought much about that decision because nobody was coming to our shows. However, as we grew young teens would approach me at the merch table, sometimes trembling and crying, thanking me for simply being openly gay and in the indie rock world. As these instances increased, the importance of being loud and proud and caring to the community hit me harder and harder. I would receive DMs on all social media platforms from scared people in the LGBTQ community asking my advice. As best I could I would try to help, but knowing not everyone is as lucky as I was, simply saying "don't worry, come out you'll be fine" seemed often like reckless and dangerous advice. Today is a reminder that we all can still feel rightfully scared and angry but let us try our hardest to reach out to one another and provide support and love, especially to those that need it most and are living in unsafe or unsupportive communities. These vulnerable LGBTQ people need as many messages of success, love and support as they can get in order for them to ever fully feel comfortable celebrating their innate greatness. There have been many times I've felt lesser than within the gay community. Now is not one of them. Now we are all the same and all mourning. My love goes out to everyone in Orlando but everyone world wide who has to struggle just to be gay. There are multiple countries where being gay is served with a quick death penalty. (Read the rest in the link in my bio , too long) 💔🌈❤️
I can just send my love and respect for people today ! Keeping positive !— Peaches (@peaches) June 13, 2016
I Love You!
To my brothers and sisters of the LGBTQ community please take the time to read this. If you have not already heard there was a terrible shooting at a gay night club in Orlando. It is not only a sad day for the #LGBTQ community, but for the American people. 50 people lost their lives because of a hateful coward with a gun. Let this hateful act of terror on the #LGBTQ community be a wake up call for America. Men and women of all races, ages, and sexual orientation are being slaughtered because of hate crimes. How many more must die from a hate crime? We need to create awareness for ALL to show that hate is not the foundation of our nation. Friends DO NOT let this coward put fear into your hearts!!! Let us all come together stronger than ever and let the world know that we will not be terrorized or bullied by the actions of hateful bigots. We are here to stay and fight not only for equality, but for our very existence. To the victims love ones of this terrible crime I and the entire #LGBTQ community in the world stands with you and mourns with you. #standwithorlando #prayfororlando #love #peace #lbgtq #pride
my love for the LGBTQ+ community goes on and on and on, i will grieve today and i will fight tomorrow— Olly Alexander (@alexander_olly) June 12, 2016
Educating the ignorant seems it would achieve more than further gentleness & humility from queer & brown communities. We owe it to ourselves to help change those who still feel threatened by any existence outside of the heteronormative mainstream. That can't happen through silence or tolerance of conservative beliefs. I can't even put into words what I need to say, but I think it's fundamentally: speak up if you hear stupidity or slurs, use your voice.. let's wipe out homophobia & fear of otherness, start fixing a world twisted by lack of compassion & incomprehension that any formulation of love truly is just love
When I left New York and headed to Orlando in 2007 to go start The Drums, I spent a handful of nights at Pulse Orlando .All I remember is having fun, feeling free, being stupid, and feeling like anything was possible. 50 DEAD Things took off real quick for my band and we found ourselves not long after that at the Bataclan in Paris playing shows. 130 DEAD I've just gotten off a plane here in LA where I live currently. I have been planning to find some sort of party tonight to celebrate pride - then I see on the news that a young man is pulled over in West Hollywood on the way to Pride with a car full of explosives. HOW MANY WOULD HAVE DIED?? I'm sick of it. Gun violence is all around me and it's all around you. Hate is everywhere. We need love and compassion and this might sound boring but the truth is - our education system is fucked. If our children were properly educated on sex, homosexuality, health, mental well-being , world history, American history, violence, war, evolution, the environment, social justice, and stewardship - we would all be in a better world. Hate comes from fear and fear comes from JUST NOT KNOWING. America is dumb and we bleed because of it.
I haven't felt 'safe' in America for a long time. When will we stop chalking tragedy up to isolated events or "lone shooters" and start the process of pacifism from the root? Stop glorifying the killers and start analyzing the system. I know it may seem small, but use your voice. Even now-- I don't feel like posting on Instagram is going to make much of a difference, but all of our voices together have a greater chance of being heard. To the families of the Orlando victims, Christina Grimmie, and the families of the north mpls shooting last night... I'm so sorry for your loss. Don't remain silent, this cannot continue. Links to use your voice: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8708154.html Text 'ORLANDO' to 6443 to join @everytown
hope one day we are all evolved enough to create and reach towards a world rooted deep in love. no matter what— FRïDA FRîDA FRīDA (@AngelHaze) June 12, 2016
I stand with the LGBT community. I stand with the Muslim community. together we stand against terrorism. together we stand in solidarity.— Seancé (@laurenflax) June 13, 2016