In the wake of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, members of the LGBT2Q+ and specifically, the Latinx community are struggling to come to terms with the devastating impact of losing so many beautiful lives. Feelings of grief, shock, depression and fear have taken root. And while these feelings are more elevated as of late, facing fear and hatred is not something new for the queer community in their long walk to equality.
From the Stone Wall Riots led by people like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, to the current Black Lives Matter movement, queer folks have been the victims of hate crimes for decades. But rather than letting fear divide, people have stuck together and pushed forward.
It seems strange to have to remind people why sex positivity is important, or why standing up for the rights of others is imperative. You’d assume these were lessons we learned long ago. But it seems that now more than ever we all need to proclaim our love and support for one another. That’s why it’s more important and relevant than ever for queers and queer allies/comrades to stick together and practice the following:
Whether you’re straight, queer, or still deciding, it’s your job as a member of the world community to learn about issues affecting oppressed and marginalized groups. As Dr. King said, “no one is free until we are all free.” Especially in times like this, we all need to remain steadfast in our commitment to bringing equality to everyone. When transgender women are still the most likely group to experience police discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence, our work isn’t done yet. Teach each other. Love and respect each other.
Become an activist and make positive change in whatever way you can. Whether that’s calling your friend out for saying something homophobic or racist, placing a rainbow flag on your store window or donating to the Pulse victims fund, every intentional positive action and positive attitude helps bring us closer to a reality in which these types of hate acts are eliminated.
Remain Sex Positive
When faced with such fear and hatred, it is common for people to feel paralyzed. Depression, anxiety and fear are common. People may hesitate before participating in events like Pride. Losing so many lives in a place where people usually come to celebrate leaves the queer community, and specifically the Latinx community, devastated. A place of sanctuary has been taken away.
In the face of this loss, it’s more important to celebrate and remain vigilant in sex positivity—remember that sex, regardless of who it’s with, is a healthy, positive thing when consensual. This is a reminder for everyone. For queer allies, it’s time for you to celebrate sexual and gender diversity louder than you have before. Remind folks that the only way forward is showing that love wins.