We write this with tears in our eyes. We haven’t been able to get them out of our eyes since waking up on Sunday morning and seeing the news about the massacre in Orlando, Florida.
To be honest, we’ve been hesitant to write this. The reality of backlash, from individual emails to anger from governments and our own communities, is real and quite scary. Knowing this, we still chose to write this statement, because it’s important and needs to be said.
You might be asking yourself, why is an organization who focuses on climate change, responding to this horrifying night. Because we’re all connected, as is our fight.
As LGBTQ+ staff at 350, we are a part of this movement, we are connected to this movement, and our survival depends on this movement for climate justice.
There are many folks at 350.org, in our networks, at our actions, in our community that identify as LGBTQ+. There are many of us who see the intersections of our race, class, gender and sexual orientation as inextricably linked to the fight against fossil fuels and for our climate.
And to be honest, intersectionality is complicated. At the heart of it, we live complicated lives, with overlapping identities. Many of us who are shoulder to shoulder with you in the streets are LGBTQ+. Many of us who’ve fought alongside you to stop climate change, and to ensure communities have clean air and water, are LGBTQ+. Some of us are also Latinx, as were those targeted in Orlando. And some of us are also Muslim, and are already facing a different sort of backlash as a result of this attack. What we need is to be able to bring our whole selves in this movement, which means being clear about what we need when our LGBTQ+ lives and bodies are under attack.
To those of you who identify as LGBTQ+, we see you, we stand with you, and we love you. We know that you’re our neighbors, and that our arms are linked with yours in the streets. We know that you’re our family, and our colleagues. We know that some of you are still hiding this part of yourselves, and we know what that feels like. We love you.
For those of you who aren’t part of this community, take this time to reflect on those in your life who are LGBTQ+. Please reach out to them. Let them know they’re loved and are seen. We don’t need you to know the right words. We need you to tell us that you love us. For us to come together as a movement, and fight for a just future together, we need to know that you’re here with us.
This week is tough for many of us. To get through this, we need to let people know where we stand. Our organization fights for a just future. That doesn’t mean only climate justice, it means justice across all fronts. If we aren’t fighting for a future that is safe for everyone, then what are we truly fighting for?
Let us make sure to lift up those who will undoubtedly be targeted as a response to this attack. Not just the LGBTQ community, but also folks who are Arab, Muslim, and the community targeted by this attack- the Latinx community. We uplift our siblings who hold many of these identities, and we see you. We love you.
If we are to move forward together in all of our interconnected struggles, we must make sure that everyone is cared for and safe. We cannot fight the biggest issue impacting our world without everyone. We cannot fight climate change without standing with each other when we come under attack.
350.org stands in solidarity with the communities affected by the homophobic attack in Orlando. We grieve for those who were slain, and we stand in solidarity with the communities who are struggling to heal and survive. And we will not let our grief and fear turn to hatred.
If you’re able to make a financial contribution to help the victims of the Orlando shooting, here’s where you can do so:
With so much heartbreak, and so much love,
Your friends at 350.org and our LGBTQ staff, including:
Linda Capato Jr
Everette R.H. Thompson