Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Remembering Pulse (#lgbtq #charity #hatecrime)

Rainbow Flag

Just one year ago, forty nine people were murdered and fifty eight injured at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The shooter, Omar Mateen, targeted the club primarily because it was a popular venue for gays. The Pulse shooting is possibly the most extreme hate crime ever committed in the United States.

In a rational world, this massacre would have stimulated change: stronger gun laws, better security and intelligence, more attention to preventing and punishing individuals and groups who use religion, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation as an excuse for violence. Alas, if anything, the situation has gotten worse. The 2016 presidential campaign made hate speech, and hate crimes, more acceptable. Since then, discrimination has been legalized and protections have been eroded.

What can we do? Fight this trend, urging our elected officials to uphold the constitutional rights of everyone, not just particular groups. Lobby for a more sensible approach to gun control. Most of all, we can demonstrate compassion, inclusion, and acceptance in our own lives and communities.

Last year, in response to the Pulse massacre, MLR Press put together an anthology of LGQBT stories called Hope for Pulse. I was honored to have one of my stories included. All proceeds from this anthology go toward supporting the survivors of Pulse and the families of those who perished.

A year later, I don’t doubt they still need assistance.

If you’d like to do something concrete to counter the hate that struck Orlando a year ago, you might consider buying a copy for yourself. Or for someone you love. 

We must stand together and promise: Hate will never win.

MLR (provides the most revenue for charity)

Barnes and Noble

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