nyc stands with orlando at the stonewall inn
Last night, thousands of people stood shoulder-to-shoulder outside New York’s Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the city’s LGBTQ rights movement, to mourn the victims of the Orlando shooting. It was an overwhelmingly powerful show of solidarity...
Name: Mitchell Mora
What do you do? I'm an organizer and researcher working in New York around the criminalization of LGBTQ people of color.
What message do you want to send by being here today? We're handing out flyers and trying to broaden the conversation. There are a lot of people here who wouldn't come out for a stop-and-frisk rally, or a rally around immigration or police violence. And for us, it's about communicating that those issues concern LGBTQ people. I don't think a lot of people understand that. A lot of people here are saying, "My community was attacked." But it's actually like, "No, people who look like me were shot." There are a lot of things that people aren't talking about.
Name: Timothy French
What do you do? I'm a visual stylist and a performing drag queen.
What message do you want to send by being here today? I've been embraced for who I am as an individual by this community. I was at Brooklyn Pride the night before the attacks happened, with a non-profit organization I volunteer with, celebrating. And it really hit me: this could have happened anywhere. So I just wanted to be here and feel everyone's presence and love. We need to start loving and accepting each other as individuals — regardless of race, gender, or sexual identity.
Name: Jenx'D International
What do you do? I'm a wardrobe stylist, a blogger, and a personality.
What message do you want to send by being here today? When it comes to love, it doesn't matter what background you come from. We have to work collectively to coexist. And there's still so much further to go. I'm going to sound like a pageant girl, but we need world peace. There's always going to be hate, but the only solution to hate is love.
Name: Billy Choo
What do you do? I'm a counseling psychology student at Teachers College, Columbia.
What message do you want to send by being here today? That things have gone too far for too long, while [we've been] complacent about homophobia, transphobia, gun violence, and islamophobia. All four issues are interconnected; it's one big issue. And we should not be politicizing it unless we actually want to make changes to bring about less killing — of gay people, straight people, trans people, and especially black trans folks, who are getting murdered on the streets.
Name: Diana Creatura
What do you do? Student.
What message do you want to send by being here today? I've never been to a Pride event before, but I came down here because this is the worst shooting in US history, and the worst terror attack since 9/11. And it's just a year after #LoveWins, which I've written on my sign. So I just got out the poster board and came down because I could. It's not like I'm living in some small town in the South where there are no events like this.
Name: Eliot Blankenship
What do you do? Student.
What message do you want to send by being here today? When something like this happens, we need to rally around each other as a community. We need to remind ourselves that we're not alone. For me, one of the most painful things to say, as someone who loves writing, is that I have no words. But that's exactly what I have to say. So I came here to listen to people who have words. To talk to people who have words, and maybe to give other people words to describe this terrible thing that happened.
Name: Garison Partusch
What do you do? I'm a student, a model, an artist, an actor, and a performer.
What message do you want to send by being here today? It's about coming together and creating a communal bond of love, light, and hope for the future. Yes, this is a terrible tragedy that has targeted our community but the only thing we can do at this point is grow stronger and right the wrongs that are happening to us each and every day. This may be five steps backwards, but all we can do is take six more forwards.
Name: Richard Pittman
What do you do? I'm a grad student.
What message do you want to send by being here today? Simply that we are standing in solidarity with the victims of this senseless crime, and to recognize that this tragedy is part of a much larger cultural phenomenon that we have to address. This is not a lone event.
Name: Cesar Lemonier
What do you do? Public relations.
What message do you want to send by being here today? I want to send a message of nonviolence. I lived in Orlando for quite some time. Pulse was one of the first nightclubs I ever went to (illegally!), and my brother still lives in Florida. He's also gay.
Name: Taylor Derwin
What do you do? I'm a healer, set designer, and prop master.
What message do you want to send by being here today? The LGBT community is a compassionate tribe, and an emotional tribe. We need a space to express the trauma we're going through — and not just the trauma of this one instance, but the trauma that we face every day. I'm doing a full-moon heart circle in Sagittarius on June 20, at 8:30pm at Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn. It's a chance for people to be in a non-judgemental space and express their stories and be heard. There needs to be a stronger structure of care for people in our community.
Name: Alex DiFiore
What do you do? I work at a juice bar in Greenwich Village.
What message do you want to send by being here today? We need to do something. We need stricter gun laws. I'm from Connecticut, and when Sandy Hook happened, it sent shockwaves throughout the community. This just needs to stop. That's all I can say.
Names: Malcolm Dye, Casey Bagnall, Cesar Lemonier, Ricardo Devon, Jeffrey Bigelow, Ace Garcera
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Sam Evans-Butler