“Disrespect” would be a mild way to characterize the tendency of allies to privilege expressions of their rage and confusion over those of a marginalized group of people whenever something horrible happens to members of that particular group. That kind of erasure is not just impolite or inappropriate. It’s violent, and exists somewhere along the spectrum of the same violence that leads to the persecution and murder of people guilty only of trying to inhabit their selves wholly and unapologetically when every pulpit and policy brief is telling you not to. We don’t get cookies, claps on the back or blue ribbons for being angry on the behalf of other people who are oppressed by a society which already rewards those of us who exist in some way within the bounds of its norms and restrictions.
In trying to process my own thoughts and feelings about what happened in Orlando this past weekend, I thought it would be violent of me to scribble my own anger, shock and exhaustion into poetry or prose and throw them up on this blog. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot of reading that focuses on the perspectives of Latinx LGBTQ individuals in relation to Orlando as well as those of other LGBTQ people of color.The way I see it, trying to be a better ally includes stowing away my own soapbox and righteous indignation, and pulling up a chair to listen. Here are only a few of the articles I’ve read this week.
P.S. We all went to Sunday school together, so spare me the refresher course. You can’t “disagree” with someone’s identity and existence just like I can’t “disagree” with your hairline or the way you walk. Let’s not, friends.
- Queer Latinos After Shooting: ‘Mi Existir es Resistir’
- LGBT Latinos Demand To Be Seen In Wake Of Orlando Attack
- The Pulse Nightclub Shooting Robbed The Queer Latinx Community of A Sanctuary
- Here Is What LGBT Muslims Want you to Know After The Orlando Shooting
- Orlando Massacre: We can’t ignore America’s homegrown homophobia
- Black Trans Woman Goddess Diamond Is The 14th Trans Person Murdered In The US This Year
Also, please check out this beautiful post which includes references to works in multiple genres and forms, including a link to the #PulseOrlandoSyllabus, a comprehensive list of resources from self-care to scholarly texts and everything in between.
- Queer and Trans Latinx Activists Explain How America Contributed to Orlando Massacre
- Activist: Latinx LGBTQ Community & Its Stories of Survival Should Be at Center of Orlando Response
Jennicet Gutiérrez, who is featured in the video I posted above from Colorlines, is the co-founder of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. She is well known for interrupting President Obama’s speech at a Pride event at the White House last year to call for the release of LGBTQ immigrants from detention centers. I first heard about her and the great work she does on one of my favorite podcasts, Black Girl Dangerous, a few months ago. You can listen to the episode here.