In the wake of the tragedy at Pulse in Orlando, GEO wishes to extend our solidarity. We understand the emotional difficulties that we all are facing as a result of this and the many other devastations we continuously grapple with in this country. The details surrounding this attack are slowly surfacing and we are still waiting to know more about the circumstances that led up to this event. It has taken us some time to make a public statement because amongst other identities GEO is Queer, Latinx, Black, Brown, immigrant and Muslim; and for these reasons and many more, it has been incredibly painful to hear the names of the dead, see their faces and process the enormity of this loss. We extend our hearts and open our door to those suffering in light of these unspeakable, heinous acts of unmitigated violence against members of a community we love and call our comrades. For all our friends, families, colleagues and members who may need an outlet to talk, to be embraced or to simply mourn, we are here with and for you. Please do not hesitate to stop by.
The violence committed against queer people of color in a space where they were supposed to feel safe and be themselves (given that so many public places are exclusionary and potentially harmful) is reprehensible. We do not want to see hate perpetuated in response to this tragedy based on who people are, how they worship, who they love or how they party. We ask and hope that moving forward we all keep in mind and meticulously process the targeted and opportunistic narratives regarding culpability and politically motivated explanations for why this violent act transpired. It is imperative that this heinous crime not be used to justify the further militarization of our communities.
We will continue to mourn and we will continue to open our office and our hearts to those who may need it.
Peace, love and solidarity,
GEO Staff and Leadership, GEO Steering Committee