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OII-USA, aka the Intersex Campaign for Equality, sends our love and prayers to the friends, families and loved ones of the innocent victims of the #PulseOrlando nightclub shooting. We acknowledge that this tragedy was not just an act of terror, as certain factions of the American press are portraying it, but a hate crime against queer, Latinx, and specifically, queer Latinx people, as the shooting took place on Latin night at Pulse nightclub.
We do not know if any of the victims of the shooting were intersex, and we will probably never know, as so many of us do not feel safe enough to live as openly intersex people. What we do know, however, is that many intersex people, such as our own staff, Dr. Dani Lee Harris, Dana Zzyym, and Hida Viloria, are indeed either people of color, queer, or both queer and people of color, and that being members of these communities compounds the difficulties and discrimination that we face as intersex people.
In the video Trans and Queer Latinxs Respond to #PulseOrlando Shooting, posted earlier today by Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, four Trans and Queer Latinx leaders shared their thoughts on the racism, homophobia and transphobia behind the mass shooting, and we agree. It is simply not okay for people to focus on single minded human rights issues without acknowledging and standing against all the intersectional forms of oppression which exist in our nation. We encourage everyone to send love and prayers not only to the families and loved ones of the victims, and to LGBTQIA people during this, Pride month, but also to all Muslims in the U.S. who do not support this hateful act, as we realize that it leaves them even more susceptible to anti-Muslim attacks.
Our Founder and Executive Director Hida Viloria is a queer, first generation Latinx intersex person, and s/he shared a message of love regarding the tragedy earlier today on Facebook and Twitter.
We also encourage U.S. citizens to sign the petition to the White House– started by talented trans comedian Ian Harvie, who Viloria is interviewed with in The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity — demanding a ban on assault weapons and ammunition to non-military U.S. citizens. It sends a message that the nation must find a way to stop citizens from having access to these needlessly dangerous weapons. Thank you, and peace to all.