As many of you may have noticed, Sula never released an Editor’s Letter at the beginning of this issue and it was because I had never gotten around to writing one due to lack of inspiration. Whenever I went to go and write something regarding Pride it all felt too cliche, like it had been said one too many times before and I couldn’t bring myself to publish any more material where we reiterate the same things we have been saying to you guys since the beginning. In a weird way, it almost felt like there was nothing to say regarding Pride month.
I’m from New York City where, yes, we still have hate crimes against members of the LGBT community but here we are part of the scenery. It is normal to see a gay couple walking down the sidewalk in the middle of the day, people come all over the world to join our Pride Parade, and we have rainbow flags hanging all over the Village. I have always felt safe in my sexuality and never believed I’d be in danger for holding a girlfriend’s hand. I’ve spent the last few years kissing girls in public parks and restaurants without having to fear for my life. Unfortunately, this has led to me living with what I now realize is a false sense of safety.
The LGBT community is very much still in danger and a lot of people, and even a lot of the world, are very much still against us. There has never been a point in my life where I felt like my sexuality was a death sentence, but today I must acknowledge that it can be and to some people it is. This shooting that happened has been ranked the most deadliest shooting in history, bigger than both the Virginia Tech shooting and Sandy Hook. This happened during Pride month and whether it was a religion based terrorist attack or not, it was still a hate crime against us and our people. When things happen to our community there is a butterfly effect, the safety of everyone LGBTQIA+ has been shaken today and will continue to be for many months or years to come.
President Barack Obama had officially declared June LGBT Pride Month at the end of May. We have had parades and events going on all over the world these last two weeks and there are even more to come later this month. This was meant to be a month of celebration, but has now become a month of mourning. This terrorist attack has proven why Pride is needed. We are not celebrating our sexualities, but our will to survive and persist in a world where we are not welcome and taught to be ashamed or hidden.
To all of my LGBT family spread across the world, issue 9 is for you only. In the words of our beautifully talented contributor Raz, “They Can’t Kill Us All.”
Rest in Power to those who had their lives stolen in the Orlando shooting last night.
Words by Kassandra (K.).
Illustration by Raz.