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After Orlando, what now?

14th June 2016

After Orlando, what now?

We need to move out of the shadows, back into the light and think about the future of gay rights activism after the Orlando atrocity.

The incident in The Pulse nightclub in Orlando has rocked the world and is the worst massacre to affect the LGBT community for decades. This attack was another reminder that there is still a lot more work that needs to be done across the world to align gay rights and to be seen as equals by some.

Members of the LGBT community are mercilessly killed on a daily basis purely based on their sexuality or gender. Like those who lost their lives in Orlando, they hadnít done anything wrong nor were they perverts or paedophiles as some trolls on social media would have you believe. Yet this message is being heavily touted everyday by some religious bigots, homophobes and irrational haters. And this is where we need to stand together again as a community and fight back against these messages of hate.

There appears to be a tide of change sweeping America at the moment, after the US appeared to come so far with gay rights and the introduction of gay marriage, we are now hearing about states introducing their own bills that openly discriminate against the LGBT community and that are seemingly based on an irrational fear. The worse thing we can do as a community is not being seen, to not be ourselves; to lessen who we are as individuals for the benefit of other people and their beliefs.

We need to get back on the political agenda and be seen to be making a difference. Pride marches that have become about glitz and glamour need to change their themes back to political statements. Let us not forget what the Stonewall riots and Gay Rights Movement was all about, it was about us being seen and treated as equals, for us to have the rights that we deserve as human beings, it was about us having the right to live, work and love without barriers or fear of death. This fight is far from over and now more than ever we need to stand united as a community, regardless of our own differences, and be seen. We matter, we all matter.