8   +   8   =  
Men holding gay pride flags at a vigil.

People gathered in vigils around the country in solidarity with Orlando’s LGBTQIA community. Photo by Fibonacci Blue. Creative Commons license.

Every time there is mass violence, it hurts. The incident on Latinx night at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, this past weekend hits particularly close to home. Many of us here at Wear Your Voice identify as queer, BIPOC/POC, or both. The feeling of “That could have been me” or “That could have been someone I love” has been repeated over and over, either aloud or in our heads and our hearts.

This tragedy was the most fatal single-shooter massacre in American history. Let that sink in. The shooter’s father said that his son had seen two men kissing several months ago and had been stewing over it ever since. This was a hate crime steeped in homophobia and fragile masculinity. The situation has raised desperately important questions about gun laws and protecting safe places for oppressed communities.

Rather than spotlight a man whose hate has devastated so many lives, let’s celebrate coming together. We can remember those whose lives have been lost while being real about what happened to put us here: hatred steeped patriarchy and homophobia, worsened by weak gun control. Activists and regular people alike took to Twitter to comfort and discuss what happened.

Twitter Comes Through for Orlando

And a reminder from poet of the Harlem Renaissance, a gay Black man himself, Langston Hughes. Someone has adopted a Twitter account for his poetry and this sadly fits perfectly.