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Rowan Blanchard
Rowan Blanchardvia @rowanblanchard / Twitter

Leading LGBTQ creatives react to Orlando terror attack

Hari Nef, Miley Cyrus, and more pay tribute to the victims of yesterday’s heartbreaking shooting

In the early hours of Sunday morning, a gay nightclub in Orlando was subjected to the most deadly mass shooting in US history. The horrific attack – reportedly committed by a Florida resident known as Omar Mateen – saw 50 LGBTQ people lose their lives, with 53 more left wounded.

At times like these, it’s easy to get despondent about the darkness that seems to be dominating our world. Fortunately, though, the communities affected by these atrocities only seem to grow stronger in the face of them; showing a formidable sense of unity despite their unimaginable grief. Here, we round up the most motivational reactions and tributes to the Pulse shooting, from some of the most influential people in the LGBTQ+ community.


“Give us the strength and courage to understand fear, ignorance, contempt, horror and barbarism. We are all equals in front of death, and no gesture of hatred, or heresy, or extremism will get us closer to God. Only love can give us peace, whatever our beliefs are. What a sad time to be alive. #orlando 

* Keep your homophobic or islamophobic remarks to yourself. No one is interested in them.”


“Honestly been at a loss for words all day. I am stunned and scared and just so, so sad. It’s time to be prouder and louder and love harder than ever in honour of those beautiful LGBTQ+ people whose lives were stolen.

May seem crazy to say rn, but happy pride everyone. Go out and be wise and brave and your beautiful queer selves. It’s more important now than ever.”


“Imagine going out to get a drink with your friends... Celebrating your sexual freedom... and losing your life. Every bit of violence is shocking and painful for the world... No need to compare instances... Just pray. #prayfororlando.”


“Sending so much love to the friends and family who lost loved ones in this devastating shooting in Orlando... Sending peace to the souls injured and killed.”


“How can you not see the news and see we need #GunControlNow? Fifty people are dead. The worst U.S. shooting in history! What will it take?

I can't be light about this anymore because it's terrifying to see my friends too scared to leave the house because of all the shootings. It scares me to think about what it will take for pro-gun people to wake up. Think about that. 50 people in one night isn't enough. I am done with people who think that homophobia is a thing of the past just because gay people can marry – do you not see that it’s here, alive and well?

I am most disturbed when the rhetoric is ‘I am numb to these shootings now.’ If you are numb to people dying, you are apart of the problem. People who would most need guns for ‘protection’ in America (as pro-gun people say they need guns for) are always the victims of gun violence. If you are going to say that the victims are in your thoughts and prayers but not bring up homophobia and gun control then please save your words.”


“(This attack was a) reminder that we're in a national community that isn't sure if equal rights are necessary and if guns are dangerous. Sending love to the victims of this mass shooting, and to their loved ones. We're disgusted but we won't lose pride. We won't live in fear.”


“Ima need people to stop acting shocked about last night’s attack because they thought ‘its 2016 and homophobia isn't a thing’ and wake TF up. Take a sec and read the comment section of my or any other queer artist videos on YouTube and realise we always been under attack.”


“In the wake of this tragedy it’s vital to remember that last night was latin night at #pulsenightclub with trans performers Jasmine Lopez and @KenyaMichaels headlining, so as much as we have to ‘pray for humanity’ or whatever half-baked erasure condolences you've got we have to fucking mobilise against the nationwide stigmatisation of queer bodies – particularly trans bodies, particularly trans bodies of colour. An american did this in America, empowered by US laws. This is not about Islam or a long since pink-washed notion of LGBT solidarity, this is about how US law permits arbitrary hatred of the most vulnerable minorities to sublimate into what can only be called genocide.

When the political right leverages queer bodies to wage war on the left civilians think they've the right to do the same and here we are. If I am dysphoric about anything today it is about being an American. I want to know in concrete terms what is so gorgeous about heterosexuality that it warrants the murder of those who do not abide by it. I want to know in concrete terms what is so sacred about ‘male’ and ‘female’ that they warrant the murder of those who do not abide by them.

I think maybe the only thing to do tonight is to go dancing.”


“All my love and support go out to the victims and their family and friends in Orlando. This is a sad day in history. Very upset and feel like just sending a tweet is very inadequate when people are dying and communities are suffering and fear is spreading. My love for the LGBTQ+ community goes on and on and on. I will grieve today and I will fight tomorrow.

Sorry everything I say feels totally inadequate, I don't know how to articulate this feeling of shock and sadness and fear. Taking myself offline. Let's all send our love and support to the people in Orlando, to our community, and to the world.”

You can support victims of the Pulse shooting by donating here.