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“It is with a heavy heart and not a few tears that we reflect on the events of last night that left 50 dead as of last reports at a gay club in Orlando.

We wish we could offer some words of comfort to our friends and families but we cannot. Those bullets could have torn through all of us that have gathered in numbers to celebrate who we are as LGBT people. It could be us tomorrow as we courageously go out and celebrate Pride month. Our message of love, tolerance and diversity is the only thing that we know makes space for us to live safely and prosper and we will not give that up.

But after last nights shooting, we must face facts. No LGBT person is safe under the current regime of American gun culture and because of the sordid history or hate we are targets. We cannot reach every dark corner of our country with our message of love so we must make it much more difficult for bigots to arm themselves. We will continue to die alongside the elementary school students, people of color, movie theater goers and many more until we come together and demand smart changes and real gun laws designed to protect all of us.”

Copy © Hansa Bergwall

Photography © Roman Sima