On June 12th, 2016 Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida became the location of an incredibly violent and vicious attack that left not just the community of Orlando, but people all across the world scarred. The Pulse massacre stands as the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter as well as the deadliest incident of violence against the LGBTQ+ community in US history. It’s also listed as the deadliest terrorist attack in the US since September 11th, 2001.
Many celebrities spoke out after the massacre. There were shows of support for the LGBTQ+ community, messages of love and power for the victims and their families, and a lot of pleas for the necessary change that we so desperately need to live in a world without fear.
George Takei is one of those celebrities and he began a group, One Pulse for America, in response to the massacre at Pulse Nightclub. The Facebook page states the mission statement of the group, and it’s purpose, and it’s to end gun violence once and for all.
‘The One Pulse for America Facebook group was founded by actor/LGBTQ rights activist George Takei in response to the mass shooting at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. The One Pulse For America community is dedicated to closing the “Passion Gap” with pro-gun activists by encouraging gun violence prevention advocates to take action on a daily basis to affect change.
We use social media to bring strategic pressure on legislators and other decision-makers by amplifying support for gun violence prevention efforts at the national, state and local level. Our ultimate goal is to change social norms and obtain life-saving reforms that will end America’s epidemic of gun violence.‘
George has been an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community for some time now and he’s spoken about everything from equality to how he found himself able to love a country that betrayed him. His story isn’t one of an easy road to success, but he’s a man who learned to appreciate hardships and come out stronger for them in the long run. That attitude in a celebrity so many people look up to is important.
What he said about the mass shooting in Orlando and the work he’s done since is even more important, and in a video posted on June 11th, he shares the goal of One Pulse for America in his own words and says that it was heartbreaking to see lives taken out of hatred.
‘It was heartbreaking to see so many precious lives taken and so many families destroyed because of hatred. In Orlando, the First Amendment right of the LGBT community to assemble was abrogated by a perverted view of the Second Amendment that allows violent individuals to arm themselves to the teeth — legally.‘
The video ends with the 49 names of those innocent lives taken in Orlando and One Pulse for America is encouraging us all to act today, in whatever way possible, to honor those lives and to make a difference for every single member of the LGBTQ+ community today and always.
When hatred strikes, the immediate outcome is always terrifying. There’s no easy way to understand the evil that must exist for lives to be taken just because they embrace, openly, who they are. Those who went to Pulse that night were simply exercising their right, as people, to live and to love and to do so in a place that was once so safe and offered so much joy.
We honor those who lost their lives today and always, and we live for them, alongside those who were injured and those around the world who have come together to stand against evil and prejudice. Today, and always, our hearts are with Orlando.