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Tallahassee vigil commemorates lives lost in Pulse Nightclub Massacre

By staff |
June 17, 2021
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Tallahassee, FL - On the early morning of June 12, 2016, gunman Omar Mateen shot dozens of people at Pulse Nightclub, murdering 49 people and injuring more than 50. Five years later, on the evening of June 12, 2021, Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC) along with 926, Gender Odyssey, and Students for a Democratic Society, congregated at the Florida Capitol for a vigil to commemorate the lost lives of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.

Speakers took to the mic to say the names of all 49 victims who died, followed by a moment of silence. They also spoke out against politicians for the homophobic and transphobic laws implemented in the five years after Pulse killings. Several speakers put a spotlight on recent attacks by Governor Ron DeSantis on the LGBTQ+ community in Florida. Others spoke about ending all forms of oppression that hurt the LGBTQ+ community.

"I do not know the LGBTQ+ community, nor my own gay identity, without the influence of the Pulse massacre. The only route for true gay liberation is queer liberation. And queer liberation must be political liberation, social liberation and economic liberation. Don’t assimilate, liberate," said Jacob Muldon, member of Students for a Democratic Society

On June 2, Governor DeSantis vetoed a bill that would help fund Equality Florida to provide mental health assistance to Pulse Massacre survivors. DeSantis’ recent attack went against his previous promise to help support the victims of the Pulse Massacre in Orlando. The day before, on June 1, the first day of Pride Month, DeSantis signed a transphobic bill into law that bars transgender females from playing on public school teams. These attacks against the LGBTQ+ in Florida not only directly impact the survivors and families of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre, but they also impact the lives of countless trans children and young adults for years to come.

TCAC members asked the community to keep gathering to organize and fight for justice and equity for the queer community, and to put pressure on state leaders to show that any repressive attack on the Black, brown, and/or queer community will not go unnoticed.

“Even if we are discouraged by the Pulse Massacre, even if we are discouraged by the hate against our community, we must continue to fight and organize because we can’t do this alone. Your liberation is tied to my liberation,” said Regina Joseph, president of TCAC.

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