The attack at Pulse, an LGBTQ club in Orlando, on Sunday has affected us at Transgender Europe. In these past few days we have mourned the lost lives of the victims and reflected on the effect the attack will have on the environment we live and work in.
Trans persons are not strangers to receiving bad news; one trans person is reported murdered worldwide almost daily. We mourn every person, but the enormity of the attack at Pulse is an even harsher reminder that the world is light-years away from being safe for LGBTI people.
The attack further confirms what we already know, and what some media fail to report in their coverage; latinx and queer people of colour are more vulnerable and likely to be on the receiving end of hate crimes, including homicide, also in Europe.
While condemning this attack, we raise attention to the importance to resist fuelling islamophobia and xenophobia.
Pulse is a reminder that the work individual activists, organisations, and institutions carry out to construct a world we can safely be ourselves in, can be shattered in moments. A world which mirrors the smaller spaces we construct for ourselves.
Clubs, bars, parties, cultural events, conferences, online forums, gaming groups, mailing-lists and more, where we try to create small havens where we are not policed to act according to the norms of gender binary and toxic masculinity. Where we can celebrate, live, love, and be who we freely are.
The shots fired at Pulse now continue to echo in these spaces, and we will reconstruct, regroup and join together in memory of those who lose their lives to homophobia and transphobia.
We are also concerned of the unrepairable damage this might have on young LGBTIQ people. This attack, the denial of the media and political leaders to call it for what it is; “a homophobic attack” might keep young people from freely expressing themselves.
Also in European states we see the hypocrisy of the state condemning the attack, but otherwise actively obstructing the rights of LGBTI people and denying them human rights and equality.
It is clear that now, more than ever, we must come together to not only condemn the attacks, but to mourn in solidarity and lend support to each other.
An attack on one of us affects us all.