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Tucson’s LGBTQ+ community comes together on 7th anniversary of shooting Pulse nightclub

TUCSON, ARIZONA– On this day seven years ago, news of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando spread like wildfire across the country. At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. On Monday, members of our community gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy. Tucson’s LGBTQ+ community still mourns the mass murder, even though it happened seven years ago and more than 2,000 miles away.

On June 12, 2016, a gunman opened fire at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring more than 50. The number of people affected, however, was staggering. “I just can’t get the idea out of my head to see your friends having fun and getting shot, people running for their lives, and people protecting their friends with their own bodies,” said Scott Blades .

On the seventh anniversary of the massacre, Blades recalls the shock and grief he felt at the time. Along with his husband, Jess Losoya, he organized a memorial for Tucson’s LGBTQ+ population and their allies. “It is important for us to bring the community together, to renew and renew our efforts to protect our rights,” Blades added. Blades argued that the band needed to “renew and recommit” its efforts to safeguard its rights.

Blades argues that it is necessary to reflect on the past, but also to consider the present. Nationwide, about 500 anti-LGBTQ laws have been introduced in state legislatures. Today we are attacked in a new way. Community members came together to honor the dead, reflect on their shared loss, and look to the future.

When we meet in the future, I hope we will remember that we are a community. The community is united, as Jess Losoya said. As one band member said, “And no matter where we are on the spectrum, we’re all here to support each other and to remind ourselves that together we’re strong.” The Pima County Board of Supervisors in Arizona recently designated June as Pride Month. Board member Adelita Grijalva showed her support by attending Monday morning’s meeting.

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