Defiant Resilience — Supporting TQ Youth after Orlando

Remember that queer and transgender people have always been the fiercest of survivors. We will rise…we have already proven our insurmountable strength.

– National and CA TRans yoUTH (TRUTH) Councils

On June 12, inside the Latinx-themed night at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, 49 LGBTQ people fell victim to one of the worst mass shootings in our nation’s history.

As a community that is surrounded by danger and death by default, these moments never fail to leave us speechless. Yet, with danger and death comes the need for us to raise our voices.

As young transgender people, we understand what it means to have our existences targeted by others, fueled by queerphobia and transphobia. We know that our community has long been victims and survivors of attacks. As people who need strength and self-love to live, we know our community will continue to fight toward our liberation.

Our deepest and most authentic condolences go out to the families, both biological and chosen, who have lost someone they love, supported, and needed. We know loss all too well, and the pain is real. We send you our love.

We also send strength and love to every queer and transgender person throughout the world who may not have personally known the victims in Orlando but are still feeling the pain and hurt. The loss of any queer and trans person is a personal loss to all of us.

To our sisters, brothers and siblings, whose lives ended at the hands of hatred, we extend a promise: you will always be more than a hashtag. You are power. You are resilience. You are strength.

But now, as transgender young people, we are calling upon the nation and world to understand that this is more than an isolated incident. There is blood on the hands of every lawmaker in our government who has supported anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that threatens our safety. There is blood on the hands of all organizations who frame gun control as the enemy of our freedom and liberty. The reality is, the second amendment is now hurting more of us than it is saving.

Call your representatives and make sure they understand the danger in allowing discriminatory legislation that supports a culture of hate and prejudice. Research and understand that gun control reform is far overdue. If you are in or near Orlando and are able to donate blood, please do so. Survivors are in need, and you have the power to save us. If you are able to financially support, donate money.

Last, but not least, to the allies: be an ally. Listen to queer and transgender people as we attempt to mourn and survive. Do not interrupt our emotions. Fight by our sides and spread more than love. Spread education, opportunity and support. Uplift our stories, and highlight our existences.

To everyone: remember that queer and transgender people have always been the fiercest of survivors. We will rise, because by openly loving who we are in a world where our bodies are walking targets, we have already proven our insurmountable strength.

Signed,

National TRans yoUTH (TRUTH) Council
California TRUTH Council

Rest in power, family and friends
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

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