“On June 12, 2016, the lives of 49 people were taken by brutal, hate-fueled violence at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. These individuals had parents and families, friends and neighbors who loved them, and who miss them, and now in 2021, Congress has voted to ensure this country will not forget them,” said Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National. “PFLAG National pledged then to continue working against bias-based violence and in support of policies that protect LGBTQ+ people from hatred, harassment, and harm. The National Monument recognizing the massacre of LGBTQ+ people at the Pulse Nightclub is a call to action, reminding us all that the work must continue.”
“Five years ago, I held the shoulders of sobbing parents and other survivors. I lit candles in vigil with friends and watched the crowd at the memorial grow from a handful to thousands across cultures and faiths, united by grief and searching for solace. I did what I could, as a Latino transgender compadre, for my brothers, sisters, and sibilings in Orlando and Kissimmee where most Pulse patrons lived,” said Diego M. Sanchez, APR, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Partnerships for PFLAG National.
Sanchez continued, “The 49 people murdered at Pulse lived at a dangerous intersection of discrimination: For who they were, who they loved, and for their families’ roots. In most communities, if an intersection is dangerous, stop signs, stoplights, speed bumps and other mitigations are placed to save lives. In this country, the intersection of discrimination continues to take lives, nearly unabated, because endangering LGBTQ+ people continues to be legal in much of the country. The memory of these 49 people demands to be honored with action and equality, as the law of the land and in the hearts and minds of all who live in this country.”