“The Club Became Like a Home” — Reflections on Orlando

"Orlando" by Jennifer Nichole Wells

Over the past few days, writers on WordPress.com have come to their blogs to reflect on and speak out about the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which has become the worst mass shooting and deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ people in the US. Here’s a sampling of perspectives.


The site of the Orlando shooting wasn’t just a gay nightclub. It was my safe haven.

At Fusion, Daniel Leon-Davis — who grew up just ten minutes from Pulse — reflects on the Orlando nightclub as a place of refuge, and where he learned to love himself as a gay man.

The first time I ever entered Pulse, everything changed. For the first time in my life, I saw people that looked like me living freely. I saw people in their joy. I saw people in their celebration of life.

 

He Just Needs To Find His People, Then He’ll Be Safe

At Raising My Rainbow, Lori Duron writes about the worry she has always had for her brother’s safety — and, now, her son’s safety as well.

I daydream about taking him to his first gay club. I want to open the doors and walk in first, turnaround and see his face as he takes it all in and realizes that he has — finally — found his people. Standing in that gay club, staring at my rainbow boy, I’d think to myself, “You’ve found your people. You’re safe here.”

 

Keep the Pulse

At The Gloria Sirens, Delaney Rose recalls the safe and communal space of Pulse, and writes about fear, safety, and the importance of protecting the people you love.

Tragedy like this, especially when it strikes so near, can make us all afraid again. I hope I find the strength not to become more frightened than I need to be. I hope I still go to PRIDE on my pixie-cut girlfriend’s arm. I hope I can hold her hand in public whenever I want, but when a place you loved and thought safe is destroyed like this, it’s hard.

 

On the Christian Response to the Orlando Shootings

At Saved Together, Father Joel Weir describes comforting his fourteen-year-old son after learning about the shooting.

Here it is: I’m tired of using double-speak as a Christian. I really am. This tragedy in Orlando broke something open in me. I realized my own layers of response as I heard the news come in. I had to look honestly at my own inner noise about speaking out in solidarity with the victims. I had to deal with the walls built from being in Christian circles so afraid of ever appearing to ‘compromise the faith’ — as if the very core of our belief and call to relationship with the living God could be narrowed down to a series of moral codes.

 

Finding God on the Courthouse Lawn

Emily at Un-Orthodox describes the candlelight vigil held on her city’s courthouse lawn — and a gathering of strangers who have come together to share stories of fear, heartache, and hope.

A young man stood in the center of the group and said with a shaky voice, “When I first told my family I was gay, they rejected me. The club here became like a home. The people who worked there were my family. They looked after me and let me cry on their shoulders, they offered me advice, we laughed together. I just keep thinking that’s what Pulse must have been for so many people in Orlando. And it just reminds me how important we are to one another. Take care of one another. Be someone’s home, every day.”

 

It’s Time To Fight Hate. It’s Time To Get Loud.

At Drifting Through My Open Mind, Gretchen Kelly says she refuses to give in to hate and urges readers to get loud — and fight in the name of love.

Hate is swelling as we speak. Hate is running amok out of fear, fear of progress and fear of change. We see more hate when rights are being given to people who have been oppressed. As we progress and we give more rights to LGBT, as most of us welcome and love our brothers and sisters regardless of who they are, without any concern for who they love, as we move forward and make progress on being a better, more inclusive society… we see more hate.


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June 16, 2016Commentary, Current Events, LGBTQ, ,