Remembering and Honoring Orlando One Year Later

Dear Friend,Person holding a sign that reads, "love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love Cannot be killed or swept aside"

One year ago, we all awoke to the news of the horrifying massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The victims of this terrible attack, which left 49 dead and many more injured, were almost all Latinx LGBTQ people, and the events of that night have left deep scars in both the LGBTQ and Latinx communities. This shocking event, which happened just hours after thousands of people had gathered together to celebrate Boston Pride, shook our community to its core. It also showed the world our strength and resilience in the face of such tragedy and pain.

People from around the world gave generously to fundraising campaigns supporting the survivors of the shooting and the families of the victims. Millions of people also gathered in cities and towns around the world for vigils and remembrance events in the days following the shooting, and took action in their home communities against hate and fear in honor of the shooting victims.

Today, we remember the 49 precious lives taken from us that night, and commit to continuing the fight for LGBTQ equality and against anti-LGBTQ hatred and violence.

In re#HonorThemWithAction in white letters on a black background, above a heartbeat graphic in rainbow colorsmembrance of the Pulse nightclub shooting, our friends at Equality Florida launched the #HonorThemWithAction campaign to encourage people to take action to end anti-LGBTQ hate and bigotry. MassEquality is honored to be a Pulse Partner Organization on this campaign.

We invite and encourage you to take action to secure LGBTQ rights as part of this campaign. One concrete step you can take today is to contact your state legislators and urge them to support the Conversion Therapy Ban Bill (SB 62/HB 1190). This bill would prohibit state-licensed mental health providers from using dangerous and discredited conversion therapy techniques to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor. These techniques are designed to instill shame and self-hatred in LGBTQ children, and are associated with depression, anxiety, homelessness and suicidal thoughts and actions. Suicide already takes a terrible toll on our community—LGBTQ youth attempt suicide at 4 times the rate of their non-LGBTQ peers. Passing this bill will reduce the incidence of suicide among our vulnerable young people and prevent them from being subjected to this harmful treatment.

Thank you for taking this step to #HonorThemWithAction and support LGBTQ youth.

Signature of Deborah Shields, JD, MPH

 

 

 

Deborah Shields, JD, MPH
Executive Director, MassEquality

P.S. For more information about the Conversion Therapy Ban Bill and the other bills that MassEquality is supporting in the current legislative session, visit http://www.massequality.org/ourwork/equality

[Photo Credit: Mark Williams, #HonorThemWithAction image courtesy of Equality Florida]