Imagine being a survivor of an attack at an LGBTQ+ nightclub, only to see in the news that it happened again in another club. Brandon Wolf, who survived the Pulse nightclub massacre, told MSNBC’s Joy Reid of the damage caused by constant right-wing attacks on the queer community.
“I’m angry tonight,” Wolf said. “I’m angry because this is what we warned would happen. This is what we warned would be the inevitable consequence of unmitigated unbridled hate in this country. You just saw what’s been happening for the last few years. Right-wing grifters, including politicians like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, have been spewing this vile, hateful rhetoric.”
“They have been accusing us of posing a threat to children simply because we exist on planet earth,” he continued. “And we warned them that inevitably, this would result in violence. But they just couldn’t help themselves. They couldn’t help themselves from crafting one more fund-raising email or hitting send on one more grotesque tweet. They couldn’t help themselves as the temperature around the country continued to rise, as young people told us that life was getting less and less safe for them. They couldn’t help themselves as armed protesters started showing up at drag shows across the country or when white supremacists were being arrested outside of pride festivals. They couldn’t help themselves when children’s hospitals in Boston and other cities were getting bomb threats having to install airport security terminals to keep people safe. They couldn’t help themselves when a doughnut shop was firebombed for daring to advertise a drag show, and now five people went to a space that was supposed to be safe for them, a space like the one I knew well at Pulse nightclub, and they came out in body bags. Dozens of people were injured, and scars they’re going to carry forever. An entire community terrorized. They paid the price for this short-sighting, cynical, and sinister hate these people have been pumping into the ecosystem.”
“I am angry because I am tired of asking, of begging, of screaming and scratching and clawing for people to just see us as human, see us as your family members, your neighbors, your friends,” he added. “Please, I am begging you to treat us with a basic level of decency and respect. I’m angry because we deserve to live. Those people deserve to live, Joy.”
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg doesn’t want to hear the obligatory Republican “thoughts and prayers” rhetoric:
Republicans have been creating this hostility toward the queer community. Go over to Truth Social, and within five minutes (I’m not joking), you’ll be called a groomer. That needs to stop. I doubt that conservatives will change, though. They enjoy making other people suffer. Prove me wrong.
UPDATE: There’s more: