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Voices / Viewpoint

Our hearts break

For LGBTQ people, sadness — and anger — in the aftermath of the Florida nightclub shooting

HB Lozito is executive director of Green Mountain Crossroads, which “connects rural LGBTQ people to build community, visibility, knowledge, and power,” as described on the Brattleboro-based nonprofit’s website (  [Note: After publication, the author wrote, by way of clarification: “I was thinking generally/nationally when writing on Sunday. Critically, with regard to domestic violence, this is not the case here in Brattleboro. We are lucky that the Women’s Freedom Center provides support to all survivors in our community.”] For more information about the Freedom Center, visit


Our hearts break with sadness for 49 more beautiful and fabulous LGBTQ people being needlessly ripped from this earth.

At the same time, our hearts break open with anger when we find ourselves within a culture and society that continue to create a world where queers are not able to donate blood to our families, even in times of emergency; where colonialist borders and immigration laws unjustly keep LGBTQ people apart; where we are imprisoned for things like fighting back against our attackers; where new absurd laws are created to keep us from performing basic bodily functions in safety and peace; and where other necessities like mental and physical health care, safe (or any) housing, and care and support when we experience domestic violence are denied.

It is all part of the same system, the same culture, that contributes to the violent death of 49 people at the hands of a person with an assault weapon.

Being together as LGBTQ people is one form of resistance. Staying alive is another.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #361 (Wednesday, June 15, 2016). This story appeared on page E1.

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