It's been a matter of weeks since the Orlando shooting, which left 49 LGBT people dead. London queers gathered to remember the victims and raise funds.
It's been just a matter of weeks since the Orlando shooting, which left 49 LGBT people dead. Last night London queers gathered to remember the victims and raise funds to support those who survived the shooting.
On 12 June 2016, a small club in Orlando bore witness to a tragedy: the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman ever recorded in the United States, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since the 11 September attacks in 2001.
At first we were shocked, and then we were thrown into mourning. At Dalston Superstore last night, in the heart of East London, queer Latinxs came together to celebrate the strength and diversity of their community, and to raise funds to support the victims and families affected by the Pulse shooting.
Music, spoken word and emotional speeches filled the dance floor, as lives were remembered and celebrated.
“This violence happens everyday”, explains Emlyn, one of the organisers of the evening. “It’s so prolific in our countries of heritage, but we don’t have the space to speak about it. We are erased and we are whitewashed.”
The word Latinx has been adopted by many as a gender neutral identifier -The “x” makes Latino, a masculine identifier, open to describing people of any gender.
On the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, where New York’s LGBT community stood up to institutionalised and regular homophobia, there’s a powerful sense of togetherness and resistance in the room. Drag queens address the crowd, people sing, dance and cry. With a news cycle that’s so quickly changing, as we watch the world go by through our social media timelines and rolling 24 hour news, creating a space to remember and to reflect feels powerful.
“Since Brexit there has already been a sharp rise in fascist attacks on LGBT people, and people read as people of colour and migrants,” says Danny, who will later play a set mirroring the music played on that fatal night at Pulse. “It’s important that we fight back, we’ve a proud history of that in our queer history.”