5 Things Survivors Of Pulse Want You To Know Before You Honor The Tragedy

Photo: HobNobOrlando
Orlando United Day Pulse LGBT

Honoring the tragedy in the right way.

This Monday, June 12 marks the tragedy that happened one year ago at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It also makes history as the deadliest attack against the LGBTQ+ community to ever happen in America, with 49 deaths and 58 wounded.

Since the attack, Pulse has turned into a memorial for survivors, friends, and family to pay their respects to all of those who lost their lives that night.

As Pride Month gets underway, it is important to remember all of the survivors and victims of that night, in addition to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with festivals and parades.

Honoring the tragedy is more than just paying your respects to those who were at Pulse that night, though. It’s also about remembering that the LGBTQ+ community isn’t something that should be erased, mistreated, or silenced all because of who you are and who you love.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Barak Obama have been the only former presidents to acknowledge Pride Month in the past, and with a current president who plans on honoring the month by speaking at a notoriously anti-LGBTQ+ conference this year, the stakes are much higher for everyone.

It seems that just saying that you are against gun violence or the mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ community (or both) isn’t enough anymore. With the identities of so many people in America being threatened – and the murder of transgendered people at an all-time high right now –  we need to be active advocates for the protection of the LGBTQ+ community.

If you could aid in making sure that something like the Pulse nightclub tragedy never happens again, wouldn’t you jump at the chance to help?

One grassroots organization, the Pride Fund in Washington, DC, is doing just that. In addition to being the country’s only LGBTQ+ organization focused on gun policy reform, it is also the only organization currently working with Pulse, with its Board of Trustees including the owner of Pulse nightclub and family members of victims.

This Monday, Pride Fund is hosting a candlelight vigil to honor the survivors and victims at Pulse nightclub that night.

Throughout the month, they are also taking action through events and parades to raise awareness and money for the protection of the LGBTQ+ people, gun reform, and stopping the many hate crimes that threaten this community.

Even if you aren’t able to donate your time to helping the Pride Fund in DC, take action in your own city by raising awareness to your local politicians about gun reform and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community all month long.

In addition to Pride Fund, the absolutely beautiful Love is Love comic donates all of its proceeds to the victims, survivors, and families of the Pulse nightclub tragedy.

Its message is to remind everyone that it doesn’t matter who you love, as long as you have love to give, which is a message we should all adopt as we remember every person who has lost their life due to a hate crime.

So, take time to remember the victims and survivors of Pulse on Monday, no matter what part of the country you’ll be in. But before you honor the tragedy, here are some things the survivors of Pulse want you to know.

Those who survived don’t want to be called victims.
Photo: ABC

There were survivors and victims the night of the Pulse tragedy. Those who are known as victims were the ones who tragically lost their lives.

By denoting those who survived as survivors, you are bringing them a kind of respect and honor.

Instead of feeling like victims even after surviving the attack, survivor means that they are fighting back.

It’s not an “anniversary”.
Photo: ABC

The hate crime at Pulse was a tragedy. The word “anniversary” makes it sound like there is something to celebrate, when it should be a time to honor and remember what happened in a serious manner.

Instead, words like remembrance and tribute should be used to keep a sense of respect for those involved.

The night of the shooting was Latin Night.
Photo: Mic

The night of the attack was known as Latin Night, a weekly night when the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities could celebrate and be themselves.

Because of this, the majority of the patrons at Pulse that night were Latinx, making the tragedy not only a hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community, but also against Latinx people.

It is a celebration of their lives.
Photo: PBS

While this is still a heartbreaking tragedy, the Pulse nightclub tribute should still be a celebration of the lives of both the victims and the survivors.

They were celebrating who they were during Pride Week when it happened, making it important to remember what Pride Month is really all about: celebrating who you are.

Healing is painful.
Photo: CDN

Healing for both the survivors and the families of the victims is going to be a long and painful journey. In addition to healing physical wounds, survivors are in the process of healing emotional ones, too.

Many still live with the guilt that they survived that night while their friends didn’t; to take on that responsibility can bring a lot of sadness and pain, which takes time to heal.

Provide support where you can, but remember that the pain you feel for them is different from what they are feeling; let them heal at their own pace.