This morning I rise to pray for every LGBT person who found themselves in the club Pulse last night (to be wounded physically or spiritually, or even killed, by a terrorist's bullet).
I rise to pray for every LGBT person who calls the club a home, a safe haven from that which occurred in this space, a spiritual reservoir of release and fun where some come into themselves and others reinvent themselves.
I pray for the families this morning, who may or may not have known of their child's queer pleasures, but who must now memorialize this space; may they see the joy and splendor of dance and song and freedom, even in the midst of their mourning.
I pray, I pray.
Above: Two people comfort one another in the wake of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida in the early hours of Sunday, June 12. Forty-nine people were killed and over fifty injured. The gunman, who was killed by police, has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, an American citizen of Afghan descent. The massacre is the deadliest by a single shooter in U.S. history, and the second deadliest in world history, after the 2011 Norway attacks. The incident is also being described as the deadliest attack on LGBT people in United States history and the worst mass killing of LGBT people in the west since the Holocaust. (Photo: Steve Nesius/Reuters)
Related Off-site Links:
50 Dead in Orlando Nightclub Terrorism Attack, State of Emergency Declared – Christal Hayes, et al (Orlando Sentinel, June 12, 2016).
Orlando Gunman's Father Says Son Was Upset by Gay Kiss, Not Motivated by Religion – Nick Wing (HuffPost Crime, June 12, 2016).
Omar Mateen: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know – Tom Cleary (Heavy, June 12, 2016).
Nation Reacts to Orlando Massacre: "Disgusting, Outrageous Tragedy" – Hasani Gittens (NBC News, June 12, 2016).
Pope Francis Expresses Horror, Pain, and Condemnation Over Orlando Shooting – Millennial via Vatican Radio (June 12, 2016).
Religious Roots of Anti-LGBT Violence Resurface in Orlando – Yonat Shimron (Religion News Service, June 12, 2016).
The Orlando Shooting Was During Pride Month, Which Began in Response to Anti-LBGT Violence – Libby Nelson (Vox, June 12, 2016).
The Orlando Massacre: A Reminder of the Dangers LGBT People Live With Every Day – Michelangelo Signorile (HuffPost Queer Voices, June 12, 2016).
These Are the Victims of the Orlando Massacre – Jack Mirkinson and Casey Tolan (Fusion, June 12, 2016).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• Discerning and Embodying Sacred Presence in Times of Violence and Strife
• Thoughts on Prayer in a "Summer of Strife"
• Prayer and the Experience of God in an Ever-Unfolding Universe
• Questioning God's Benevolence in the Face of Tragedy
• The Ashes of Our Martyrs
• The Blood-Soaked Thread
• Something to Think About – December 8, 2011
• A Prayer for International Day Against Homophobia
• Homophobia? It's So Gay
• The Tragedy of Homophobia
• Catholic Theologian: "Heterosexism, Not Homosexuality, is the Problem"
• A Beautiful Collaboration
Image 1: Reuters.
Image 2: Photographer unknown.
Image 3: Steve Nesius/Reuters.
Image 4: WFTV.