I usually post links once a week, of things that I have read that I am recommending to others. Here are some pieces about the massacre in Orlando that I would like to share. I am centering queer and trans Latinx voices. I have read them over the course of many days and would not recommend reading them all at once. I hope you will take care of yourself in reading.
Justin Torres in praise of Latin night at the queer club.
“People talk about liberation as if it’s some kind of permanent state, as if you get liberated and that’s it, you get some rights and that’s it, you get some acknowledgment and that’s it, happy now? But you’re going back down into the muck of it every day; this world constricts. You know what the opposite of Latin Night at the Queer Club is? Another Day in Straight White America. So when you walk into the club, if you’re lucky, it feels expansive. “Safe space” is a cliche, overused and exhausted in our discourse, but the fact remains that a sense of safety transforms the body, transforms the spirit. So many of us walk through the world without it. So when you walk through the door and it’s a salsa beat, and brown bodies, queer bodies, all writhing in some fake smoke and strobing lights, no matter how cool, how detached, how over-it you think you are, Latin Night at the Queer Club breaks your cool. You can’t help but smile, this is for you, for us.”
Christopher Soto’s poem “All the dead boys look like me”
This article by Miriam Zoila Perez on when the one place that feels like home is invaded.
“I’m queer and I’m Latina and whenever there is a queer Latin night at a local bar or club, I’m there. With bells on. Just four days ago, on Thursday night, I was out celebrating the 10th annual D.C. Latino pride at a big gay club in the city. My friends and I, some Latina and other queer folks of color out to celebrate with us, spent hours dancing our hearts out. A few times throughout the night, I leaned into my friend Ayari’s ear and shout-whispered over the music, huge grin on my face, “This is my version of heaven.”
It’s hard to explain just how beautiful it feels to be surrounded by queer Latinxs, listening to the music of our childhoods, dancing the dances we learned at family parties, but doing it in beautiful transversive queer pairings. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing two queer Latina women dancing salsa, one of them leading the other even though she probably had to teach herself that role. Or two gay Latino men dancing close and sexy to a bachata rhythm. The lyrics may not be about our love, but in those moments we reclaim it wholeheartedly.”
This article about a new image of Latina superhero La Boriqueña standing with Orlando.
“The image below was made by illustrator Dennis Calero, under Miranda-Rodriguez’s art direction. It depicts La Boriqueña flying through the air with a massive rainbow-patterned Puerto Rican flag waving behind her.
Beneath her are the words, “Unidos con Orlando” — which translates from Spanish to “united with Orlando.”
‘I love art that has a political purpose behind it,’ Miranda-Rodriguez said in a phone interview with Mic on Wednesday. ‘I look at this incident as a hate crime against Puerto Ricans and the LGBTQ community … [and] the very fact that La Boriqueña exists makes her political.’”
Jack Aponte on queer people of color saying not in our names.
“But we who are born with the bloody birthright of being American have a choice about what we take from the tragedy in Orlando and where we go from here. Our so-called political leaders spout the expected lines about radical Islam, but Latinx and Black queer and trans folks and our allies are choosing a different path. Queer and trans people I’ve spoken to, queer and trans organizations, and Latinx and Black folks are gathering together for comfort, community and solidarity as we grieve and mourn the dead.
In my experience, we’re not gathering because we’re more afraid of homophobic or transphobic violence than we were before Saturday night’s atrocity. The fear that I’ve heard most of my friends and community express is the fear of the violence that the US government may well cynically and hypocritically enact in the names of Latinx and Black queer and trans folks who, on any other day, would at best be ignored by most of these politicians.”
On why it matters that it was Latin night at Pulse, by John Paul Brammer
“They killed us while we were holding our drinks and dancing bachata. They killed us while we were smiling, while we were slapping each other on the asses and calling each other “perra” and “guapa.” They killed us where we meet each other, where we ask where our families are from, and where we crack playful jokes about Mexico or Puerto Rico or Venezuela. They killed us in our sanctuary, where we are at our most free. Not just free to be queer. Not just free to be Latino. But free to be both at the same time. That’s where they killed us.”
This comic by Terry Blas
This post on Autostraddle by Mey Rude that shares the words of queer Latinxs about the massacre.
“Here are just a few of the many, many LGBTQ Latinxs in our community who are speaking up and speaking out to make sure that queer Latinxs are not erased.”
Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca on why it is critically important not to erase that queer Latinxs, especially queer Puerto Ricans, were targeted in this massacre.
“Yes, this tragedy has impacted our entire queer community. And yes, in these critical times we must find every bridge that connects all of our oppressions, but we must do this without reinforcing erasure of Puerto Ricans, a community that continues to be colonized by the U.S. Puerto Ricans continue to be migrants in their own country, and while many of us are not fleeing the island because of violent dictatorship, some come to the mainland seeking solace and refuge from an island that has been and continues to be pillaged by white supremacy.
The larger queer community must be willing to come to terms with the fact that this attack was fueled by much more than homophobia. This attack was fueled by the same anti-blackness and disregard of black and brown bodies that continues to exist in the fabric of every rainbow flag swinging in every gayborhood in this country.”
The tumblr, Escuchame for Orlando
“a place for queer Latinxs to come together and let our voices be heard about the massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. This is an anonymous space because whether you’re out to the whole world, or just to yourself, you deserve to be heard.”