I saw this floating around my email inbox today and I just had to pass it along. As the five year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting nears I felt like I absolutely needed to post this:
On Sunday, June 12, 2016 (the middle of Pride month) at 7:20 am, I heard my phone vibrating on the nightstand. As my eyes began to focus, I realized it was Dr. Delores Jacobs calling me. My stomach sank as I knew this wasn’t going to be a regular call or day. She told me there had been a shooting at an LGBTQ bar and told me to call down the phone tree and come to The Center. In the wake of what was categorized as the deadliest U.S. civilian mass shooting at the time, our community did what we always do in moments of crisis: we came together.
We struggled to make sense of this act of domestic terrorism and gun violence that ended the lives of 49 members of our community. The Pulse Massacre shook our community to its core. Bars in our community have been more than watering holes; they have been and are our safe spaces, our oases of love and found family, and where we leave the confines of our daily closets to revel in joy.
At Pride that year, 49 Latinx community members led our Parade holding placards with the names, faces, and ages of those we’d lost. A somber reminder that Pride – from Stonewall to the present moment – is fundamentally about protest, mourning, activism, visibility, celebration, joy, and healing. While the devastation we’ve all grappled with in the wake of that vicious violation five years ago still seems inexplicable, it is always inspiring to know that despite the struggles and strife that our community faces, through it all, together, we are Resilient.
Yours in love and hope,
Fernando Zweifach López
San Diego Pride
P.S. Join me in honoring the lives of those lost and in remembering their names.