This morning, we were all devastated to learn of the horrific terrorist attack on the LGBTQ community at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Our hearts go out to all grieving, most especially to the victims and their families.
This mass murder did not happen in a political and social vacuum. Indeed, we did not even have time to come to terms with this loss before news broke of another would-be mass killer in Los Angeles. Fortunately, his plans to attack L.A. Pride were discovered and stopped. But this kind of bigotry and violence will continue unless we fight it through unified mass movements.
We condemn this monstrous terror attack, allegedly by a man claiming allegiance to ISIS. We must absolutely stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ Sisters and Brothers.
We must also fight back against any scapegoating and Islamophobia.
We have to organize, mobilize, and stand up to violence, hate speech and the many forms of oppression forced down on LGBTQ people and minorities under capitalism.
Many of us are looking for a space to heal. Others are looking for places to organize. In Seattle, many will be gathering tonight at Cal Anderson Park, at 8 PM, to take comfort in community and talk. Later this month, on Friday, June 24th, at 5 PM, Seattle’s annual Trans Pride march and rally will begin, also at Cal Anderson Park.
Trans Pride is a celebration, but it is also a necessary and bold political act of defiance in a society that still largely refuses to allow people to define themselves as they are. I have attended every year, and I encourage you to join us.
We need to build the struggle for a world free from violence and bigotry, for which we need mass movements against this exploitative and divisive system.
*This statement was updated on June 12, 2016, at 7:18 PM PST.