We join our many friends and colleagues in healthcare in expressing our utter grief and sorrow over the brutal shooting in the Orlando nightclub where hundreds of LGBTQ people were gathered. As President Obama notes in his remarks to the nation (see full video of this remarks below), “this was a place that was more than a nightclub, it was a place of solidarity and empowerment, where people come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.” Tragically, this is the most deadly shooting in American history, and shows the extent of the horrid hatred that threatens our communities every moment of every day and night.
This is also a reminder of the great courage that we must all call forth in responding to not only this incident, but the prevailing climate of discrimination and hatred in which we live our daily lives. However, the very fact that the President of the United States offers remarks that affirm LGBTQ people and our full human rights inspires hope that we also live in a time when there is hope, and a time in which there is growing awareness and support for our strongest weapon – that of living our lives openly, with pride, and in solidarity with our LGBTQ friends and family.
So we are stepping forward to extend our solidarity with all whose lives have been directly affected by this tragedy. The nonprofit Equality Florida (EQFL) has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser for shooting victims and their families. The nonprofit advocates for gay and lesbian rights and has assured donors that 100% of the donations will go to the victims, “nothing to be gained by EQFL.” Visit this website to donate.