APEN’s statement to honor 50 lives lost in Orlando
Written by Mabel Tsang, State Organizer
“I see you, Latinx, Queer, Trans, Muslim, and Black, and loving. I have found myself just like you on a Saturday night, joyfully alongside friends in a Queer and Trans POC club, just like you did at Pulse. In that hot and overcrowded room, I saw you, my other self. We are friends who recognize each other, who cross when we come out at night and return before day, seamlessly and sometimes silently. Here we love ourselves powerfully — we flirted, we found best friends, we healed through our salinous dancing, we loved one another believing what starts at the club could multiply beyond the walls of that room.”
Loving yourself and loving one another are revolutionary acts of being queer and trans. And in a place we were never meant to survive, creating community is a triumph of revolutionary vision. We fight for the right of all people to be healthy, safe, and liberated in their neighborhoods and homes. Our communities in the Bay Area, in Orlando, and across the world are dying at the crossroads of racism, pollution, poverty, and hate.
Extractive capitalism destroys our land, exploits our labor, and poisons our bodies. This same system deploys “home-grown militarism, anti-Black white supremacy, and patriarchy” that murdered Latinx and Black, queer and trans lovers, best friends, family and life partners at Pulse Nightclub. 50 killed in their place of queer, black and brown resilience. Too often, the spaces we have made safe for ourselves are those where we face the deadliest violence. It has been one year since Dylann Roof murdered Cynthia, Susie, Ethel, Depayne, Clementa, Tywanza, Daniel, Sharonda and Myra in their spiritual home, Emanuel AME. 126 years since the U.S. Military mass murdered Lakota people on their tribal reserve to expand the U.S. Empire.
This country’s dependency on racist war and violence to uphold those in power, transforms our land and resources for extraction, finances the police, displaces entire communities, creates refugees, forces migration, and transforms our land and homes for wealth and resources for the Global 1%. Latinx, Queer, Trans, Muslim, and Black folks, we stand with you because we interconnect on the frontlines of of capitalism, racism, war, homophobia, transphobia and climate change.
As Asian immigrants and refugees who have fled violence and war, we witnessed the U.S. Military transform our homelands into a playground for warfare. The U.S. Empire has invaded and enacted war in far too many countries to list. Across the world and as Islamophobia continues to profile, murder, enact war, and villainize South Asians and Muslims, we must find home in one another and within each other. Queer & Asian, Queer & Muslim, and Queer, Muslim and Asian, we are not strangers to one another.
We stand, in grief and in justice, to honor you, Latinx, Queer, Trans, Muslim, and Black. Committing to our environmental justice movement is committing to all of us to create the world we deserve.