EuropeanStates

United Kingdom – #ICantBreathe

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

This message is only visible to site admins
Problem displaying Facebook posts. Backup cache in use.

Error: Error validating access token: The session has been invalidated because the user changed their password or Facebook has changed the session for security reasons.
Type: OAuthException
Today is the anniversary of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting- this is what was posted on the One Pulse for America gun law reform page. 

FRIDAY Share thread- it is the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting, the tragedy that moved George Takei to found our group. Forty-nine lives were cruelly taken.

A few weeks back actor Misha Collins hosted an online panel discussion looking at race issues with some high-profile guests. Among these was Briona Jenkins. One of the messages from the discussion was a call for people with platforms to share their space. I reached out and Briona kindly answered my offer to share our One Pulse space; in return she sent this powerful, moving essay on how the Pulse shooting impacted her. For me Briona's story reinforces the huge, far-reaching toll of America's gun epidemic, why we are here, and it motivates me to do more to change things.

Hello my name is Briona, but I prefer to be called Bri, my pronouns are she/her/hers and I want to wish you a Happy Pride month and honor the memory of the LGBTQIA+ family members who have lost to suicide and violence. 

Four years ago, I had just moved to Austin, TX from Connecticut. I was twenty-six and this was the first time I had the chance to move out of my home state. Living 1800 miles away from everything and (almost) everyone I had ever known allotted me this overwhelming feeling of freedom. I could breathe. I could make choices for myself and not feel the overwhelming pressure to please everyone by sticking to the status quo. You see, I had just started questioning my sexuality.  I have always found men attractive but I was also attracted to women and everyone in between and outside of the gender binary and living in Austin gave me a chance to start working through those feelings. I come from a large and very religious family and while I have always been the one to push the envelope the idea of coming out to them, while living back home, never seemed like an option to me. Austin was my chance to live my most authentic life. 

A little less than two weeks after moving to Austin, I woke up on Sunday, June 12, 2016, to my best friend John, who is a gay man I have known since I was twelve, telling me about the Pulse Night Club shooting. John had been living in Austin for about two years at this time and that afternoon he picked me, and some other friends up, and we just drove around Austin. We found ourselves at the gay bars downtown, coming upon a congreation of friends and neighbors who all had the same idea as us, to be together. 

I spent the whole day with friends, processing the events that had taken place the night before. While my friends were able to cry, express their anger, and display a multitude of other emotions – I could not weep despite the sadness I felt. I consider myself a fairly emotional person, and I have been a supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community for as long as I can remember. My inability to express my feelings caught me off guard. I was numb and incapable of pinpointing the emotions that I was experiencing. After watching the tributes to the victims, reading articles, and following the news coverage I finally realized why I could not display emotions. I was not being honest with myself. Skimming through social media and news posts I discovered a recurring theme that knocked the breath out of me. So many of the victims had been taken from this world without the opportunity to come out to their families and friends and share a huge part of their lives with them. A lot of the victims had loved ones who were unaware that they were part of the LGBTQIA+ community until it was too late. I do not want to share in that same fate.

Over the next few weeks, I came out. I told my best friend, John, first and his response was, “I have known for as long as I have known you.” I asked him why he never told me and he said something along the lines of, “It’s something we should all have a chance to figure out and come to terms with on our own.” Next I called my godparents and my dad. While on the phone with my godparents and my dad I told them all how great Austin was and how I was loving my new job and how excited I was to be in this new place but I chickened out. I did not tell any of them I was queer. After hanging up, all three of them sent me texts asking, “What’s wrong, I feel like you called to tell me something but rushed off the phone before you did”? I texted each of them back, “I am queer. I like men and women and everyone in between”. I prepared myself for responses of disownership and disgust but I was met with messages of love and support. They all basically said the same thing, “I just want you to find someone who makes you happy and respects you”. I know how fortunate I am and I have never taken those messages for granted. 

Over the last four years, I have taken the love and support that my family and friends gave me and used it as my fuel in helping to make the world, in particular Austin, a better place for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. I have spoken about how reproductive justice effects all people not just cisgender women, worked at Out Youth, an Austin based nonprofit founded in 1990 that serves LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults, as their Development Coordinator helping to get donors and volunteers connected to our work, I was a co-host on OutCast a weekly radio show on a local radio station, became an HRC Austin Fed Club Member, have spoken on a number of panels and podcasts, became a board member for Austin Black Pride, spoke at QueerBomb Austin, won the Rising Star Award from the LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and much much more. My time in Austin has taught me that every person deserves the right to live in their truth. All genders and sexualities are valid and we do not owe anyone an explanation for you living your life. 

As Pride month begins to ramp up I want you to remember that Pride is something that we should celebrate every day of the year. We most remember those who we have lost to violence and suicide and think of ways to make the world better for future generations to thrive and support each other especially when so many outside forces what to tear us down. I know that Pride month will look different this year, due to COVID-19, but I hope that we are still able to connect in a safe but supportive way.
I'm sure that we're all seeing all kinds of hypocritical posts about why the protests shouldn't have gone ahead -here's my response to it in case it helps anybody else responding
This was sent to us who had it confirmed by an ophthalmologist so please be careful and stay safe
So it seems the evening standard has blocked the speech John Boyega did last weekend! Yet other people who aren’t in the U.K. can watch this

Black Lives Matter Denmark addresses injustices against minorities within the non-criminal asylum/immigration prisons and criminal justice system.

BLM Denmark is a platform from which to actively address and protest minority racism against people of color by the police and justice system. The active focus will mainly be for Denmark and Northern Europe while also updating with relevant news an international level. BLM Denmark will mainly address L67 law resulting in the Guantanamo – Concentration Camp type jailing of non-criminal innocent asylum seekers and immigrants rotting in jails for months on end. There has been no attention paid and no organised protest so the authorities have become negligent with minority’s right to freedom. These jailings are getting longer and longer resulting in suicide attempts and hunger strikes. We appreciate them not gassing the inmates to death and not forcing them in labour but that is where the difference stops. Normal right and privileges granted to the Danish criminal prison population are denied jailed asylum seekers, transit refugees and immigrants. Besides that issues regarding the kriminelle justice system will be addressed on this platform. This is right from the Ryan Lochte and “Asyl spray” type #TheBlackGuyDidItSyndrome to ever growing unfair huge gap between the length of sentences criminal justice system doles out to people of color and White people. This combined with not being able to afford good legal representation affects the statistics reinforcing the myth and prejuidice that men of color are dangerous and more criminal. The assumption of guilt begins with the Police on street level where there is an ever growing tendency for a racially mixed groups of friends from the age of adolescence up to be approached by Police and only the minorities have to show their iD. – There is a greater ratio of arrests – There is a longer and higher rate of convictions needs to be researched on a scientific level and debated. – White convicted seem to receive more “fodlænker” sentences If you are a minority Dane and would like to assist in the engine room, you are more than welcome to send a message. I took the initiative but I humbly admit one person cannot carry this project alone. I need the communities support in a combined and common effort. Black Lives Matter Denmark is intersectional and addresses Black and Brown race minority issues. Thank you for joining this page.

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *