In June 2016, a mass shooting occurred at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The attack, which was intended to target the LGBTQ community, left 49 dead, 53 injured, and millions more grieving. With Pride Month beginning soon and it being one year since the deadly shooting, you may be wondering how to honor the Orlando nightclub shooting victims during Pride Month.
Though the month is generally intended for celebration, it is also meant to raise awareness that things are far from equal. By honoring and remembering victims of violence against LGBTQ community — especially the Orlando nightclub shooting victims — you are showing that the fight against hatred and discrimination is far from over.
There are many ways, large and small, that you can honor the victims of the Orlando shooting during Pride Month. Between attending vigils, participating in planned events, advocating on the community's behalf, the options are endless. It can be difficult to know exactly what is the right response when it comes to memorials and remembrances, especially if those you're remembering weren't people close to you. Here are a few relatively small ways that you can mindfully honor those who lost their lives the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.
1. Wear A Silver Ribbon
One very small way to honor the Orlando shooting victims is to don silver ribbons, which were worn at the 2016 Tony Awards in remembrance of all those who lost their lives in the shooting, according to NPR. It isn't a big commitment, but it sends a powerful message.
2. Show Up
Showing solidarity with the LGBTQ community by literally showing up can speak volumes. If you're located in the Sacramento area and are looking for a specific Orlando nightclub shooting memorial, Event Brite noted there will be a candlelight vigil held on June 12. Official Pride events vary from city to city, but a quick internet search should give you an idea of what's planned to take place near you.
Donating money to reputable organizations who provide support, services and community and advocate on behalf of LGBTQ people nation-wide or around the world can be yet another way that you can honor Orlando victims during Pride Month. Need ideas for where you should send your money? Take a look at the LGBTQ organizations that could benefit from your donation.
Sharing the stories of those who were killed in Orlando is a good way to both honor the victims and also let family members, friends, and other loved ones know that the country has not forgotten them. If you need help talking about death or dying, or need resources about how best to talk to those who are grieving, you can find pamphlets, videos, and more on the Dying Matters website.
5. Speak Out
Perhaps the best way to honor victims of violence against the LGBTQ community is by committing to work tirelessly, either as a member of the community or ally, to advocate on their behalf and fight for them. Whether it's calling your local and state representatives, canvassing for certain issues, or something else entirely, there are many ways that you can advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ community. Although you can, of course, do this year-round, there's likely no better time than Pride Month to show that you stand with them and will continue to fight alongside them as best as you possibly can.