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43 weeks ago to this day, 49 people were brutally murdered and 53 more were injured at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This was the worst mass shooting in the recent history of the United States of America. While we are still trying to figure out the causes of this heinous act, there is no doubt that both #homophobia (on the part of the attacker) and #islamaphobia (that he would have experienced) played huge roles in the eventual execution of such an act.

Less than five months later, segments in America united to elect a man who vowed to ensure that the climate of hope and change that we, as a society, have become accustomed to would disappear, encouraging not only Islamaphobia and homophobia with his views, but downright bigotry (to say the least).

I created this piece in honor of the 49 souls we lost at #pulse and to honor the 53 survivors still within our broader community. In the #queer #lgbt community, they will forever be remembered, their legacy will remain. Despite acts of hatred, uncertainty and difficult times, these 49 human beings are our martyrs and their memory will strengthen us. And, in the same way, the 53 survivors of injuries and other survivors will forever remain a part of our sacred community.

In this work, 49 shapes in black and 49 pulses represent our lost loved ones. 53 independently placed white shapes represent those who bore the burden of attack, yet survived and are still members and allies of our queer/trans communities. Together, they create a heart, to symbolize the love that we will always carry with us, the love that conquers all of the hatred that contributed to this attack. They are set in a background I created with the colors of the Pride flag.

Thank you for reading this, and seeing my tribute to these beautiful souls, as a queer person of color, I appreciate your solidarity with the #qtipoc #qtpoc #qpoc and overall queer community.

#wearepulse #weareorlando #queerandproud #ink #coloredpencil #abstract #art

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