LGBTQ Artists And Activists Responded To The Orlando Shooting With Love And Defiance

After the June 12 tragedy at Pulse nightclub, the queer community is standing strong.

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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.

#pride2016 ❤️💛💚💙💜💔

A photo posted by Beth Ditto (@marybethditto) on

🙏🏻 Florida

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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) 💔🌈❤️

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tonight was a good night to go out i think

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I beg you rest in peace, while the living, in wait we can only lick our lips through the sutures

A photo posted by Arca (@arca1000000) on

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#happypride #orlando I love you guys please be careful . Alllll my love

A video posted by Tituss Burgess (@titusssawthis) on

June 13, 2016
LGBTQ Artists And Activists Responded To The Orlando Shooting With Love And Defiance