The editorial team at MedHum Fiction | Daily Dose wishes to collectively express our condolences to the friends and families of the 49 victims, as well as all those physically and psychically traumatized by, the mass shooting this past Sunday morning at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
As both allies and members of the LGBT community, we feel acutely the ripple effect of this act of violence against the queer community in Orlando. We also want to recognize that the majority of the victims so far identified are young women and men of color, many part of the Latin community in Orlando. Queer youth of color are among the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community, facing widespread violence not only because of their gender and/or sexual identity but also because of the color of their skin.
We believe strongly that this event should not be used to foment anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim sentiment, nor should it be used to further ableist notions that people who struggle with mental health issues are more prone to extreme prejudice or violence. There are immigrant and Muslim members of the LGBT community, and many queer people who also live with mental health challenges. There are immigrants, Muslims, and allies who live with mental illness. The vast majority of non-citizens, people of Muslim faith, and neuroatypical or mentally ill individuals do not commit acts of violence or seek to terrorize marginalized groups of people. American Muslims and people with disabilities or mental health issues are, in fact, disproportionately likely — like people of color and queer people — to be victims of structural and individual acts of dehumanizing and life-ending aggression. The mass murder at Pulse should not be used to condone further acts of violence or persecution against other vulnerable individuals or communities.
As always, we at MedHum Fiction | Daily Dose encourage open dialogue and offer ourselves as a safe space, a platform that encourages deep considerations of the problems we face from a humanities as well as medical perspective. We are all united in our humanity; please take care of yourselves and one another during these challenging times, and do what you can in your own (virtual and offline) communities to move forward with love rather than violence toward those who are Othered.