Rah! Rah! Roundup


Remember their names, faces, and lives– these are the victims of the Pulse shooting, primarily queer POC.

A poem by Christopher Soto (Loma) for Orlando: “I feel it, I really feel it again. How can we imagine ourselves // We being black native / Today, Brown people // How can we imagine ourselves / When All the Dead Boys Look Like Us?”

At The Nation, Richard Kim writes about the sanctuary of gay clubs: “ Gay bars are therapy for people who can’t afford therapy; temples for people who lost their religion, or whose religion lost them; vacations for people who can’t go on vacation; homes for folk without families; sanctuaries against aggression. They take sound and fabric and flesh from the ordinary world, and under cover of darkness and the influence of alcohol or drugs, transform it all into something that scrapes up against utopia.”

Miriam Zolla Pérez writes about the intersections of being queer and Latinx: “It’s hard to explain just how beautiful it feels to be surrounded by queer Latinxs, listening to the music of our childhoods, dancing the dances we learned at family parties, but doing it in beautiful transversive queer pairings.”

Son of Baldwin writes on the American tradition of violence: “‘Violence’ is what ‘America’ means. And the greatest acts of any kind of violence committed in this country have been committed in service to white supremacy. Any attempt to diminish that and revise history to make the Orlando Massacre ‘the worst’ is an attempt to makes it seem as though these acts are worse when committed by non-white peoples.”

Wendy C. Ortiz writes on grief, vulnerability, and fear: “I sifted through social media reading expressions of grief and rage. My friend Sylvia Rodemeyer wrote a Facebook post and in it she said, ‘If you are anti-LGBTQ I want you out of my life.’ It was a sentence couched in other sentences of sorrow, anger, and lament. That sentence stood out to me. Its simplicity is sharp and direct. And I could hear our collective wails encapsulated inside of it.”

Veronica Bayetti Flores on Pulse as a queer Latinx sanctuary: “When so many of us are rejected from our families of origin for part or all of our lives, the club is where many of us experienced our whole selves for the first time: where we see queer and trans people upending gendered notions of how we dance salsa, merengue, and cumbia, where we can be free in our sexuality while still connected to our roots perreando to some dembow.”

The Audre Lorde Project’s statement in the wake of Orlando, “Do Not Militarize Our Mourning: Orlando and the Ongoing Tragedy Against LGBTSTGNC POC”: “In order to prevent the violence we witnessed in Orlando, it is more important than ever that LGBTSTGNC POC turn to each other for community safety rather than relying on systems that were never meant for us. It is more important than ever that we reject increased militarization at home and abroad. It is more important than ever that we uplift the experiences, politics, and movements of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx queer and trans people fighting for self-determination of our bodies, homes, neighborhoods, clubs, and lands.”

Mijente compiles a list of queer Latinx books: “Because in moments like this we need to see queer Latinx love, love queer Latinx love. We need to mourn, rage, and defiantly celebrate LGBTQ Latinx love.”

Eman Abdelhadi writes on being queer, Muslim, and unwelcome at the Stonewall bar: “But, this New Stonewall is not for people like me. I am not interested in a partial humanization doled out by elites. I do not care when Cuomo humanizes me as a queer person only to criminalize me as a Palestinian. I do not want the NYPD’s protection while I dance, only to get their harassment while I pray.”

Raquel Gutiérrez writes a poem for Orlando: “It’s etched in the marrow, / the knowing, the sun will rise when / we come home from the club”

Orlando survivor Patience Carter recites a poem she wrote in the aftermath: “The guilt of being alive is heavy”

Alfred Soto on the power of dancing and joy: “The politics of dancing is the politics of feeling good; the politics of dancing is also the politics of willing yourself to feel good. Pop is replete with miniature psychodramas in which memory and desire, subject and object, play out on the dance floor.”

Jameson Fitzpatrick writes a poem for Pulse: “What a strange power to be cursed with, / for the proof of our desire to move men to violence.”

If you’re able, donate to the Zebra Coalition, Orlando’s LGBTQ+ youth center who are also offering counseling services in the wake of Orlando.


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