HGSC Statement on the Orlando Shooting

We the members of the Board of Directors felt compelled to respond to the events of June 11th, and offer this statement

We join you in grieving the members of our LGBTQ+ family lost at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on Sunday.

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Orlando and throughout Florida, recognizing that this violent attack shattered their sense of security in spaces where they have sought refuge. For many of us, clubs like Pulse are where we learned to be ourselves and, in a sense, where we first caught the tiniest glimpse of justice. We mourn the compromise of our sanctuaries.

We stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ communities of color, recognizing that this attack specifically targeted the queer Latinx community. We acknowledge that the Pulse shooting is the latest storm in a cyclone of violence that most pointedly affects queer people of color.

We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community, often scapegoated and maligned in America today. We recognize our Muslim LGBTQ+ family members, realizing that to interpret this horrific event as the responsibility of a single group would disrespect those who lost their lives.

We cannot make sense of this tragedy. The pain we experience now, and the trauma that for many will linger, cannot be minimized or rationalized.

Yet, our LGBTQ+ family has always found a way, again and again and again, to rise out of pain. To laugh again. To fight again. The profound struggle to be who we are burnishes us, makes us everyday more relentlessly loving than we were yesterday.

When Pusey Minister of Memorial Church Jonathan Walton spoke at Harvard's #StandingInLove community vigil on Tuesday, he reminded attendants that the purpose of their collective mourning was "not a passive one." Neither is ours. The violent deaths of our family at Pulse breaks our hearts, but it also beckons us toward action.

In the spirit of peace, progress, and Pride, we offer the list of resources below:

To donate money in support of the victims and their families: Equality Florida's fundraising page for the Pulse Victim Fund

To attend a vigil in your area: GLAAD's continuously updated list of vigils

To get support in your grieving process: GLBT National Help Center Hotline

To find out more information about donations, support, gatherings, and advocacy: #WeAreOrlando

And, as always, do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of any help.

In strength,
The Harvard Gender & Sexuality Caucus Board of Directors