49 lives were tragically lost on June 1. 2016 during a deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Two years have passed and we still remember the night of events as if it happened yesterday. We must continue the conversation, and take action, on homophobia and discrimination/violence that continues to grow in the LGBTQ+ community.
49 people were preparing for a night of fun, peace, and good times at Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida. However, amid the conversation, high-energy music, and flashing lights that surrounded the crowd, no one expected for the ringing sounds of gunshots to join the atmosphere.
Survivors and victims' relatives are marking the second anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting with a remembrance ceremony, a run, art exhibits, and litigation.
Some survivors and victims' relatives have sued the Orlando Police Department and the owners of the nightclub.
The federal lawsuit claims police officers should have acted more aggressively to stop the shooter. The state lawsuit against Pulse owners Barbara and Rosario states the nightclub had inadequate security.
Aside from the lawsuits, there is a Remembrance Week that is set up to remember the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The parents of murdered gay college student, Matthew Shepard, spoke in Orlando, a "rainbow run" was held in a park near the nightclub, and a play was produced based on the interviews of Pulse survivors and those around the world who responded to the tragedy. On Tuesday, bells will be run 49 times at a church in downtown Orlando and a remembrance service will be held at the nightclub, where a planned memorial is in development. Forty-nine ribbons will be hung outside City Hall, an exhibit on the tragedy is being held at the Orange County History Center and a rainbow flag will be hung from the Orange County Administration building.
The memoriam events continue to expand each year to ensure that the Orange County community, as well as those around the world, never forget the beautiful souls that lost their lives two years ago.
In regards to the lawsuits that are being filed against the Orlando Police Department and the owners of the nightclub, we must remember that this is not an issue on police aggressiveness or an increase in security, this is a matter on homophobia and how violence and discrimination continues to grow in the LGBTQ+ community, especially for minorities who identify themselves apart from the norm of heterosexuality.
As members of more than one minority group, LGBTQ people of color face special challenges in a society which often presents heterosexuality as the only acceptable orientation and in which nonwhites have disproportionately higher rates of negative sexual outcomes.
Homophobia, sexism, and racism share certain characteristics. They may take the form of active, explicit, and aggressive expressions of hatred. They may be shrouded in spoke or unspoken stereotypes and prejudices resulting in unfair or discriminatory practices.