Like most of the country, 9to5 leaders and staff are reeling from what happened last Sunday at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. We have and will continue to experience shock, grief, sadness, fear and anger as we remember the young people who identified as Latinx and LGBTQ+ and were targeted as they celebrated Pride in a designated safe space. 9to5 stands in solidarity with, and offers our support and love to, the entire LGBTQ+ community in the wake of this tragedy.
Unfortunately, the Orlando shooting was not an isolated incident. The killing of marginalized people goes back to this nation’s very founding, and the U. S. has a long record of racism, homophobia and transphobia. The LGBTQ+ community is targeted in more than 1 of 5 hate crimes, and LGBTQ+ people of color are nearly twice as likely to experience physical violence as their white counterparts.
Some politicians and media voices are defining the entire Muslim community as the enemy in Orlando. We cannot allow them to pit communities who are already the targets of discrimination and violence against one another.
So what can we do?
We can show support for those who have lost loved ones, and care for those who are hurting. Keeping love, care, compassion and healing at the top of our minds will only embolden our actions and make us stronger. We can participate in this month’s Pride events as a demonstration of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, and we can help lift up the voices of those most deeply impacted LGBTQ+ youth of color whose voices most often go unheard.
We can reject using this tragedy as a platform to further Islamophobia, and instead send our support and solidarity to Muslim communities.
We can continue our organizing and advocacy for policy change to create a world where all of us can live free of discrimination, violence and oppression. We can allow the Orlando tragedy to increase our commitment to this vision and this work.