Lessons We Should Learn From Orlando: LGBT Community Resilient and Strong

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Lessons We Should Learn From Orlando: LGBT Community Resilient and Strong

After the horrible tragedy in Orlando, Florida early Sunday, a mourning community reels in disbelief after 49 people were killed and 53 wounded. One thing is certain and that is…

Orlando’s LGBT Community is resilient and strong…

After such a tragedy, it would be easy to turn against other people and start finger pointing. Orlando has done the opposite. We must admire their commitment to love and learn from this tragedy. Whenever something horrible happens, we have to take stock and then do everything we can to keep it from happening again.

The media is wrestling with itself to categorize the attack as either a hate crime or an act of terrorism. They are questioning the motives of the killer and whether or not he might actually be gay himself. All of that noise is confusing and does little to further the broader conversations we should be having. The victims and their families don’t necessarily benefit from knowing a clear ‘Why.’ The fact is that it happened full-stop. Instead of letting divisive rhetoric turn one minority group against another, the LGBT and Muslim communities are turning to one another. There are LGBT Muslims in this country and to discount the impact of the tragedy on them would be disingenuous. The Gay Community is wise to turn to other communities and accept their support. This tragedy immediately affected the Gay Community, and specifically the Latino Gay Community, however this affects every community. All of us are Americans and should strive to be accepting of all religions, races and sexual orientations. Instead of turning to hate, the LGBT community chooses love. Orlando has taught us this valuable lesson.

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In addition to acceptance, the Orlando community shows us the importance of safe spaces.

For many LGBT people the gay bar is a safe space. A space that allows us to commune and have fun without worry of hate or animus. Historically, we have had to fight for these spaces. The Stonewall Riots between gay patrons of a bar and police led to the Gay Rights Movement as we know it. The gay bar is a sacred space that should be defended as well as never taken for granted. In Orlando, a safe space was violated. We as a community must stay vigilant and never forget the brothers and sisters who have fought for the legal protections and rights afforded by our government. This includes our right to gather at a gay bar. Orlando has taught us to cherish our pride. We must not only cherish but also defend it. The attack serves as a reminder that our fight is not over. We must continue to change the hearts and minds of others. We must fight to remove stigma, stereotype and hate and replace it with harmony, acceptance and love. Go to your local gay bar and bring a new friend along with you. Show your solidarity with Orlando and the LGBT community’s commitment to equal rights and the protection of safe spaces.

Orlando’s vibrant LGBT Community has fought for decades to bring inclusiveness and visibility to their movement.

The current Orlando City Commissioner is a lesbian. Patty Sheehan, was the first out elected official in Orlando. She has been a powerful voice for the victims as well as Orlando as a whole. The reason Orlando has such a strong LGBT Community is because of people like Patty Sheehan. Orlando has taught us to build coalitions to create inroads into our local governments and municipalities. Without Sheehan and others like her standing up and demanding justice as well as serving her community, it would be hard to say just how well a Florida City would respond to this tragedy. Make sure to vote for queer elected officials to make sure that your city is serving you. Or better yet, use your talents and expertise to run yourself. Orlando has taught us to rise to the challenge and strike adversity down.

Finally, the outpouring of love and support for Orlando across this country and around the world has taught us that the world cares.

With vigils in New York City outside the Stonewall Inn and Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower, we saw that the world sees Orlando. The tragedy isn’t just an American one. Its ripples are felt around the entire globe. We are living in a time when an attack on the LGBT Community is not only recognized, but sympathized with by the entire world. It is heartening to see the world stand with Orlando. We stand with you too.

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About the author

I’m Blake. I’m a member of Sigma Pi and study Industrial Design at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. I like my boys, booze, and bros. I’m openly gay and my brothers are all cool with it I still play with toys… Sex toys that is. I love trying new ones and experiencing all-the-feels. I’m fluent in brocabulary and look forward to schooling you on it. Take a sip of this brotien shake!
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