Terror in Orlando
A gunman killed 49 and injured 53 at an Orlando nightclub on Sunday, the worst mass shooting in US history, as well as the worst attack on LGBT people in the country. Vigils have sprung up around the world, collecting donations, remembering the victims, and asking for donations of blood.
LGBT journalists speak out
As the news media searched for an explanation, LGBT journalists stood up to represent their communities, and remind the world this was an attack on gay security. Veteran CNN journalist Anderson Cooper broke down on air while naming the victims, while British journalist Owen Jones stormed off a Sky News set after co-hosts refused to acknowledge that the attack was targeted against gay people.
After a story surfaced that the shooter, Omar Mateen, had once been upset to see two men kissing in public, people flooded the internet with pictures of men kissing.
Gay voices in the media were quick to point out that Orlando is merely an extension of an ongoing campaign of violence and hate against LGBT people. The Detroit Free Press pointed the finger at easy access to assault weapons, and relentless anti-gay political rhetoric. Republican politicians, not known for their defence of gay people, meanwhile jumped on the bandwagon to blame Islamic terrorism.
The LA Times reports that regulars at the nightclub, Pulse, say they had seen the shooter on numerous previous occasions, and that he used the gay dating app Jack’d. While Mateen declared solidarity with ISIS and the Boston bombers, there is no evidence he had actual contact with the group.