Yesterday we awoke to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S.history. The shooter targeted a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and ended the lives of 50 people.
The Body is Not An Apology does the work of fostering radical self-love because we believe that through making peace with our bodies we create the capacity to make true peace with the bodies of others. This attack was an attack on the bodies of the LGBTQIAA community. This was an attack on bodies of color. It was at its core a violence meted out on bodies because of their difference.
We also know that when these attacks are connected either factually or through media sensationalism to Islamic terrorism, the Muslim community faces violence and abuse as if Muslims are not queer. As if Muslims are not American. A world unable to see the intersections of homophobia and Islamaphobia, a world that cannot identify all of these violences as acts of Body Terrorism and work to end them both, is a world destined to destroy itself.
In the coming days and weeks, we will hear about the shooter endlessly, but will learn so little about the 50 lives he snatched nor the ripple each of them made in the world.
Today, The Body is Not An Apology will begin to share the names of each person lost to this unthinkable tragedy. We also acknowledge that the names listed may not be the chosen names of the victims.
We will continue to update the list.
We ask you to read and say their names aloud. Tell others to do the same.
Let’s say their names and in doing so create a chorus of love.
It is the only thing that will drown out the hate.
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
More Radical Reads: Simple But Not Easy: 25 Steps to Justice
Are you struggling to make peace with your own embodiment in the wake of this attack on Pulse? Join us for our free webinar 10 Tools for Radical Self Love.
[Feature Image: two people stand on a sidewalk beside a street at nigh time. The person on the left is wearing shorts and a grey and white tank top. They are embracing the person on the right whose back is facing the camera. This person is wearing jeans and a blue, black and white checkered shirt with dark jeans. Source: Orlando Sentinel.]