Saturday, March 6, 2021
Arts + Culture Culture Remembering the Pulse massacre, as Trump strips LGBTQ rights

Remembering the Pulse massacre, as Trump strips LGBTQ rights

Resilient memorial honored victims of mass shooting and police violence, while standing against continuing discrimination

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The mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub four years ago took 49 lives and still leaves a deep scar on the LGBTQ and Latino communities. Injury was added to injury on Friday as the Trump Administration chose the massacre’s anniversary, during Pride Month, to reverse healthcare protections for transgender people that guaranteed nondiscrimination under the Affordable Health Care Act. (This as the surge of violence against Black trans women continues—Dominque Fells and Riah Milton were both killed last week.)

But the community rose resiliently to honor Pulse victims at a special memorial in the Castro organized by local Latino and queer organizations. Indigenous dancers, speakers, special ceremonies, and taking the knee launched a weekend of resistance around the country, transforming the grief of Pulse into a resounding call that Black Trans Lives Matter. [UPDATE The Supreme Court ruled Monday morning that people could not be fired for being LGBTQ, with Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch writing the majority opinion and John Roberts signing on, so that is something.] 

Below are photos of the memorial taken by Gareth Gooch, www.PhotosbyGooch.com.

Indigenous dancers led an opening ceremony at Officer Jane Warner Plaza at Castro and Market

Candles and herbs for blessings

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence led an invocation and read the names of the dead.

The crowd took a knee.

Ani Rivera of Galeria de la Raza addresses the crowd.

Activist Honey Mahogany of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District and memorial co-organizer Christopher Vasquez, director of communications at The National Center for Lesbian Rights

An indigenous dancer led a march to Hibernia Beach, the spot at Castro and 18th used for community memorials.

At Hibernia Beach, and indigenous dancer lit candles at a Pulse memorial. The beach also held memorials for a JayR, a formerly homeless man, and singer Irene Soderbergh, who had recently passed.

Here is a stream of the memorial:

Marke B.
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts and culture editor of 48 Hills. He co-owns the Stud bar in SoMa. Reach him at marke (at) 48hills.org, follow @supermarke on Twitter.

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