In a recent interview with Billboard, Urbana 92.7 Program Director DJ Candy Boy weighed in on the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub Saturday, June 11. “This wasn’t about this being a gay club or Latin night. What this calls into question,” he tried to explain, “is the security at the venue. And I believe security should be heightened, regardless of genre.”
Although Yandel’s official tour DJ raised a decent point on security measures at popular nightclubs he did so at the expense of the Latinx community, erasing the fact that the LGBT people murdered were largely of Latino descent. And in the modern history of mass shootings in America, Orlando is the deadliest.
“Authorities have identified 21 of the 50 people who died. Most of them were Latinos,” wrote El Pais, “aged between 20 and 50, including security guards who worked at the nightclub, pharmacy students, Universal amusement park employees and travel agents.”
According to NPR one of the victims, Luis Vielma, 22, “worked at Universal Studios in Orlando, including on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.” Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling even mourned him on Twitter.
Pulse advertised reggaeton, bachata, merengue and salsa entertainment for Saturday night—genres distinctively Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban. The nightclub also announced days earlier trans Latinas as the main act. Lest we forget June marks LGBT, Immigrant and Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
A photo posted by Pulse Orlando (@pulseorlando) on
Along with Vielma, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, Juan Ramon Guerrero, Deonka Deidra Drayton, Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan and Mercedez Marisol Flores are just a few of the names of the 50 people pronounced dead in the aftermath of the massacre. These names – all of them difficult to pronounce – place great weight on the tongue. What should really be called into question is the perpetuation of violence against not just queer folk, but queer folk of color.
May they rest in freedom. Our condolences to loved ones in mourning.