The fifth of a ten part series looking at the aftermath of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, solely through the voices of members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Following the shooting, I began seeing members of the community openly worrying on social media, understandably for their lives, but also about the packaging of the attack both by major news outlets and elected officials. It seemed like coverage of the shooting was overwhelmingly formatted as cisgender, heterosexual people talking about members of the queer and Latinx community rather than talking to them. After frustrating hours of fruitlessly searching for perspective from the actual communities affected, I remembered that, in this modern world, I didn’t have to wait for any other outlet to have these conversations for me; I could do it myself.
As I started thinking about the project, something else became painfully obvious to me: I couldn’t wrap my head around the weight of 49 lives lost. I heard about a news anchor reading all 49 names on air, and was surprised to hear that this simple act took seven minutes. That number, 49, by itself, can feel small. 49 cents, 49 seconds. I wanted to understand the enormity, the massive loss of life, by talking to 49 people who identify within the LGBTQIA+ community, to understand that weight.
The interviews here are presented chronologically by recording date. I spoke with the interviewees for this episode on June 16, just four days after the attack, and where they’ve given permission, I’ve included their Twitter handles:
Given the fluidity of language surrounding sexual, gender, and ethnic identities, it can be hard to find current and comprehensive resources for inclusive language. Here are a few that I’ve found helpful, and I’m happy to add additional resources by recommendation:
GLAAD Media Reference Guide
Human Rights Campaign Glossary of Terms
Teaching Tolerance: A Gender Spectrum Glossary
Trans Student Educational Resources Definitions
Why We Say Latinx, via Latina magazine
This episode contains the following music:
“Reflections” by Kevin_Hartnell, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
“Hippie House Pianoversion” by Lobo Loco, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
“Breathe New Life” by Scott Holmes, licensed under CC BY 4.0
“Ritual Seven” by Jason Leonard, licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0
“If Time Allowed” by Ketsa, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
“Downhill Racer” by Blue Dot Sessions, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0
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