As we grieve after another horrific act of mass murder and gun violence in the U.S., we come face to face with the reality that transgender and non-binary POC face violence daily. The massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on its Latinx night is a wake-up call not just to the mainstream white gay community, but to all of society, that it is time to collectively demand a safer world for queer, transgender, and non-binary people of color. Particularly for our siblings who are LGBTQ+ Muslims, who face still more danger because of general Islamophobia—but also because the identified shooter has been identified as an American Muslim. In effect, we need to create a safer world for all LGBTQ+ folx. Which also begs the question: When will the government act on gun control?
- “After the news of 50 people killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, we asked four Trans and Queer Latinx leaders for their thoughts. Here you will find the raw and unscripted footage.” —Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement
- The Orlando Grief Care Project, in conjunction with the Florida School of Holistic Living, is coordinating the delivery of holistic remedies to thousands of crisis center workers, first responders, families of victims, and other community members in need. You can support them with herbal donations here.
- “[G]ay bars are more than just licensed establishments where homosexuals pay to drink. Gay bars are therapy for people who can’t afford therapy; temples for people who lost their religion, or whose religion lost them; vacations for people who can’t go on vacation; homes for folk without families; sanctuaries against aggression. They take sound and fabric and flesh from the ordinary world, and under cover of darkness and the influence of alcohol or drugs, transform it all into something that scrapes up against utopia.” —”Please Don’t Stop the Music” by Richard Kim for The Nation.
- “Allah Made Me Queer”: Muslims Share Stories for Ramadan
Muslims use the Tumblr tag “we are not haram” to kick off the Islamic holy month and it is beautiful. Unlike most of Pride Month’s grassroots social media trends, “we are not haram” included more personal stories than selfies. Posts also featured specific rules not to reblog posts without permission in order to protect participants. —Vocativ
- Tina Vasquez reports Family Members and Undocumented Survivors of Orlando Shooting Eligible for U Visas on Rewire.
- “At the same time as Democrats were forcing a vote on gun control, Republicans were blocking a vote on LGBT legal protections in the House. Democrats have attempted to attach an amendment which would bar federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity to two different bills so far, each without success.” Autostraddle breaks down the politics of the Democratic filibuster on gun control.
Love, Beauty, Art, Culture, and Healing
- “I stopped writing poetry when it felt like my body kept shattering, fragile yet unimpressionable like a screen, and everything I wrote came out like a staccato and dissonance. I did not believe my beauty to be exceptional, could not leap forward with elegance, could not instigate, was not phenomenal, and definitely not The Greatest.” Cassie De Costa for Feministing: “On Poetry, Beauty, the Body and Ali“
- “Pat Parker was one of the first black lesbian poets whose poetry I discovered while attending Barnard College. I was a young, closeted, black lesbian and her poems were empowering and life-altering. Parker spoke directly to me when she discussed the beauty of loving another woman: ‘my lover is a woman / & when i hold her / feel her warmth / i feel good / feel safe.'” —JP Howard on Pat Parker for “Queer Poets on the Poems That Changed Their Lives“
- Asian voters are a huge untapped voting block that no one seems to be talking about. In a year of presidential primaries and a presidential election, Fusion explains why the highly engaged Asian vote matters.
- Doña Leonilda Vázquez, … her daughter, and other 13 women founded the group known as Las Patronas in 1995. Their mission is to provide free food for undocumented migrants crossing Mexico between the Tierra Blanca and Córdoba train stations. Witness the beautiful work she is doing in a photo essay on Remezcla.
- Cindy Lauper and Harvey Fierstein lead the amazing cast of Kinky Boots on Broadway in a public service announcement around transgender folks using the bathroom. “You change the world when you change your mind.” #JustPee
- Valerie Sagun, aka Big Gal Yoga, is featured on plus-size activewear brand Rainbeau Curves’ blog helping us to start a meditation practice. I’m in!
- Tanya Muzinda is an 11-year-old girl from Zimbabwe, and she is totally kicking ass at motocross. We’re loving it! Tanya has been racing since she was five and was quoted telling the BBC, “At times I do beat the boys, so they feel terrible because they were beaten by a girl”- A2.0 Magazine
- “In her latest graphic memoir, Turning Japanese, MariNaomi renders the in-between spaces of culture and identity in her distinctly simple yet bold style. The award-winning artist shares a story of her younger self grappling with growing up biracial in the Bay Area, when she knew no one else who looked like her—except her own sister.” Amy Lam interviews MariNaomi for Bitch Magazine
- Have you heard of fleet farming!? Thanks to this Now This video on FB, I have now! And I am utterly inspired. Fleet Farming creates a culture of health and vibrant ecosystems by “teaching an intergenerational fleet of volunteers how to grow their own food … through biweekly [bicycle] Swarm Rides.” They travel throughout Orlando, FL, to transform lawns into farms. The harvest is shared among the property owners and the remainder is sold at farmer’s markets to sustain the organization and create emission-free healthy food. I am in love.
- Ten athletes were selected this week to compete on an official refugee Olympic team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. “For a group of people stripped of their homes and citizenship, it’s an effort to restore an element of their humanity: sports. Prior to this year’s games, Mardini and her fellow teammates would not have been eligible to participate on any Olympic team. Yet that’s a violation of the Olympic Charter, which considers playing sports a human right. ‘Every individual,’ the Charter reads, ‘must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind.’” My heart just grew! We know who I’ll be rooting for.