The safety of queer spaces has been a looming concern since Orlando’s Pulse nightclub was terrorized Sunday morning by a mass shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. Despite it being an isolated killing, the weekend’s event reminded the global LGBTQ community of the horrific prejudices still prevalent in today’s world. Hatred can be repeatedly shrugged off, but what can you do when hatred is armed with a loaded gun?
Nightclubs, for queers, have historically been some of the rare nondiscriminatory places where sexual orientations and gender identities are actively celebrated and welcomed. This is why Florida’s bloodshed struck a chord in NYC party promoter Ladyfag, whose career has focused on empowering and carving out space for the local LGBTQ scene.
During Battle Hymn, her weekly party at Chelsea’s Flash Factory, she spoke about the importance of welcoming all different individuals at her events: “Straight people, gay people, lesbians, cis, trans, black, white, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, old, new, rich, young,” she said, promising the crowd she’ll do her best to keep them safe. “This is your fucking home […] If it happens to them, it happens to us. We are all one.”
As the crowd roared in solidarity with Orlando, Ladyfag asked everyone to grab a neighbor’s hand and dance in honor of their innocent brothers and sisters who died for going “to a club to dance, to drink, to maybe get laid.” Watch the powerful speech, below: