Community Notes, Featured, Stories

Latinos To Show Unity With Orlando Victims and Local Gay Community

June 30, 2016

By Alberto Garcia SDPFPad[LGBTW]

Local Latino groups and community leaders have come together to hold a memorial service for the victims of the June 11 mass shooting in Orlando, the majority of which were Latinos.

The mass shooting occurred during a Latino Night at Orlando’s Pulse,
a popular gay night club. That night featured Latin music and the crowd included many Latinos from various countries.

“After the shooting, leaders from several other minority communities reached out to show support to our local gay community,” says Nicole Murray-Ramirez, a prominent San Diego gay community leader. “Muslim community leaders called, African-American community leaders called, but no one from the Latino community reached out,” Murray-Ramirez added.

Gay Latinos are often ostracized more by their own families and community given a prevalent opposition to homosexuality among Latinos. Many gay Latinos are shunned by their families when they come out, and some are even disowned, as happened with one victim of the Orlando shooting when his family refused to claim the body after the shooting.

“We didn’t feel any love from our own Latino family in San Diego, so we thought it would be appropriate to organize a public memorial to extend our sympathies and support not only to Orlando victims and their families, but also to local gays that may feel victimized by the targeted attack on a gay night club,” Murray-Ramirez added.

Murray-Ramirez and David Valladolid, a long-time Latino activist and community leader, organized a meeting on Monday, June 27, to organize the event. In total, the memorial’s co-hosts include 49 organizations and individuals; one for each victim of the shooting. The group includes elected officials, community organizations, and individual Latino leaders.

“We need to show support for our Gay Latino Brothers and Sisters that may feel alone or victimized by this senseless attack,” said David Valladolid. “Somos una gente – We are all one people,” added Valladolid.

The event, called the San Diego Latino/Latina/Latinx Memorial for Orlando, is scheduled for July 9, at 6:00pm, at St. Paul’s Cathedral at 2827 5th Avenue in San Diego. The non-denominational memorial service will include a reading of the victims’ names, placing flowers on a memorial, and words of support from local community leaders. St. Paul’s Cathedral agreed to host to open service in support of the community.

The Latino community leaders co-hosting the memorial also agreed to march in the Gay Pride Parade on July 14th in a show of solidarity with the gay community.

La Prensa San Diego is one of the 49 co-hosts of the event.

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