Orlando Shooting Victims Were Mostly Queer People of Color
Listen to story:
Download: mp3 (Duration: 17:58 — 16.4MB)
FEATURING VERÓNICA BAYETTI FLORES – Vigils were held around the country this week to mourn the 49 victims of the Orlando shooter at an LGBT club called Pulse. The victims were mostly people of color and majority Latino. Because the shooter, Omar Mateen, called the police while he was holding hostages, and declared allegiance to the Islamic State, the massacre is being deemed a “terrorist attack.”
GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump used it to reiterate his idea to ban all Muslims from the US while declaring that he wanted to protect gays and other minorities. Candidate Hillary Clinton squarely identified “radical Islam” as the culprit.
But the story is so much more nuanced. Now it has emerged that Mateen was a regular at the Pulse and even posted his profile on a gay dating app, suggesting that he might have been conflicted about his sexual orientation. His ex-wife also revealed that he abused her.
And, lost in all of this mess is the heartbreaking fact that Pulse was a safe space for Orlando’s LGBT community in the midst of an increasingly homophobic political landscape. Many are calling for the attack to be labeled a hate crime rather than a terrorist attack.
Read her article HERE.
Verónica Bayetti Flores is a freelance writer, political consultant, the co-host of Radio Menea, a Latina music podcast.