Monday, June 13, 2016

With Great Heaviness in Our Hearts and Queer Puerto Rican Orlando in Our Minds

It is a very bittersweet, tragic moment. This weekend, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies-Centro at Hunter College sponsored ‪#‎LGBTRicans‬: El Encuentro, a historic gathering of LGBT Puerto Ricans in New York City, while the National Puerto Rican Day Parade for the first time ever honored LGBT Puerto Ricans as part of the parade, and we announced a Call for Papers for a special issue of CENTRO Journal on Queer Puerto Rican Sexualities. On Sunday, we proudly marched down 5th Avenue and were warmly received by thousands. Most of us only learned of the massacre in Orlando while we were already at the parade. Orlando, Florida, is the new heart of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States; there are almost a million Puerto Ricans in Florida, mostly in Orlando. Most of the victims at Pulse were Puerto Rican. The confluence of such a horrific tragedy in the very midst of our community is devastating. Puerto Rico's queer heart bleeds red.

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