Kelsey Kato/ July 1, 2017/ Arts.Humanities.Data/ 4 comments

On June 12, 2016, social media was a chaotic twister of emotions: worry, suspense, grief, and anger, amongst others, whirled around the internet as news reports confirmed 49 deaths and 53 injuries at Pulse Night Club; the worst mass shooting in America to date. A little over a year later, as queer souls dance through the end of Pride Month, the one-year anniversary of the Pulse massacre remains a throbbing pain in the social media-verse. Even a year later, the emotions stirred up on the night of the Pulse massacre are still raw, especially within the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities. Responses to the Pulse massacre on Twitter and Tumblr on its one-year anniversary, highlight not only the different ways in which people consume and digest media, but also the apparent need for an intersectional approach to issues regarding marginalized communities.

The Twitter-verse was primarily flooded with posts mourning the victims of Pulse while showing support for the LGBTQ+ community through pictures of vigils and memorials and the hashtag, #PulseNightClub. Although the support is appreciated, it is important to note that the majority of posts under #PulseNightClub fail to mention that the victims were primarily Latinx and the additional layers of grief, worry, and frustration within the queer Latinx community regarding the racist and xenophobic sentiments behind the Pulse massacre.

Many posts also showed frustration towards the lack of strict gun laws in America, comparing the Pulse massacre to the Sandy Hook shooting and calling for political measures to end gun violence.

Tumblr posts also showed solidarity towards the LGBTQ+ community with images of Pulse and the hashtags #PrayForOrlando and #OrlandoUnited. While these posts tended to claim the Pulse massacre as strictly an attack on the LGBTQ+ community, other posts recognized that there was a greater layer of fear and grief for LGBTQ+ people of color, specifically queer Latinx individuals. On Tumblr, there was a larger group of users who identified the risks that queer POC face by simply existing in a world that continually marginalizes and condemns them as sinners, aliens, and ultimately, unwanted. The amount of solidarity shown towards queer POC on Tumblr was heartwarming. It is sometimes difficult to find genuine concern and support within the whirlwind of anonymity and scattered opinions on social media, but when and where it exists, it is powerful and reassuring.

 

Although Pride Month has ended, we will continue to celebrate queer existence and fight for those who live at the crossroads of multiple marginalized identities. As we continue to traverse the sea of social media, most of us behind the comfortable walls of anonymity, it is important to remember that blind solidarity, support for the sake of support, is not enough to dismantle the systems of oppression that continue to take the lives of marginalized individuals while keeping them on the fringes of society. Stay educated and stay aware.

4 Comments

  1. So timely and necessary. Thank you for this blog.

  2. Thank you for writing about the terrorist attack on Pulse. There has been much to be said on that issue.

    However, I really want to speak on this aspect of the article

    Although the support is appreciated, it is important to note that the majority of posts under #PulseNightClub fail to mention that the victims were primarily Latinx and the additional layers of grief, worry, and frustration within the queer Latinx community regarding the racist and xenophobic sentiments behind the Pulse massacre.

    First off, this shouldn’t really matter, but apparently it matters to some people who might be reading this, I am multiple ancestries (some of them being Latin American) and a straight male. Think of it what you want to!

    But this incident was not really an anti-Latinx hate crime, it was targeted specifically at the LGBT community. Even the killer said it himself! He never said anything about targeting the “Latinx”, but said a lot about targeting the LGBT community. It didn’t matter what race his victims were, it just mattered that he killed those who were LGBT.

    Those who really want to target the Latinx community would find juicier targets in Latino festivals that aren’t limited to those who are LGBT! Also, let’s not forget that while majority of the victims are Latinx, some of them weren’t. They existed too!

    1. Hi Pablo, thank you for commenting my post. It’s nice to see that are people interested in our content! My intentions for this article were not to exclude non-queer or non-latinx victims/allies, but to draw attention to the specific struggles that queer Latinx individuals face on a systematic level and on a social level. Because queer people of color are not often represented in the media, I found it particularly important to address the fact that among the victims and survivors of the Pulse massacre, there were a large number of queer Latinx individuals and provide some reasons why their experience with this tragedy is multifaceted and unique.

      I want to emphasize the importance of looking at the Pulse massacre through an intersectional approach because I do not want to pit one identity over another nor do I want to place more value on race over sexuality or vice versa. Celebrating complex identities especially when they are part of marginalized communities is necessary and wanted to bring awareness to that with this post.

  3. Oops, the 4th paragraph was a quote from the article, which I attempted to indicate with but that somehow didn’t show up on the screen. I apologize for the appearance of those technical difficulties

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