In most parts of the world, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersex people are not allowed to exist. They spend a large chunk of their lives in search of even ground where they can find spaces to exist without prejudice and harm.
These spaces take various forms. In most of the world these take the form of recognisable restaurants, nightclubs, social centres, agencies, halfway houses, metropolitan community churches and shelters. These spaces are affirming. These spaces are embracing. These spaces represent what larger society often fails us as LGBTI people… a safe space where the non binary is not treated with disgust, hatred and violence.

These spaces afford LGBTI people a sanctuary of discovery of their intrinsic worth in a world that’s loved them little and often cast them aside as subhuman. In the early hours of the morning on Sunday 12 June 2016, one such space, Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida, USA was attacked and 49 human beings were gunned down by a religious extremist. 53 were reported injured.

This is pinned on religious bigotry. It has religious extrimists saying it was an act of God’s punishment. I say it was an act of self hate and a search for significance in a world that has taught us to box each other into who matters or doesn’t matter.

I don’t care what god you pray to and what voices whisper in your ear. If those voice tell you to snuff out lives or to laugh and plaster the internet with hatred, YOU are the problem. Sexual orientation, gender, race are inalienable. No living being has the right to take the life of any other living being based on these. As A Gay African, I Stand With Orlando And Every Other Living Being Whose Inalienable Rights To Existence Have Been Taken Away From Them. #IAmOrlando #OrlandoShooting

Here are names of deceased victims whose families have been notified. Today we speak your names:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

-Frank Malaba-

copyright belongs to photographer.

Published by: Frank Malaba

Frank Malaba is an actor, playwright and a published poet. He was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa. He has performed on stage and television in both countries. He has a passion for using poetry, storytelling and theatre as a method of healing for both himself and others. His poetry has been presented both at home and abroad. Frank is currently developing a two-man play entitled “Broken Pathways” which will be touring internationally. In 2014 Frank was recognised by Mail & Guardian's 200 Young South Africans as an Achiever in the category of Arts & Culture.

Categories Poetry2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Orlando”

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