There is talk, as we just commemorated the third anniversary of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting, of turning the spot into an historic landmark.
As Floridians and queer people around the world continue to mourn and memorialize the third anniversary of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre, a group of Florida lawmakers have introduced a new bill in Congress to have the site declared a historic landmark.
United States Congressional Representatives from Florida, Darren Soto and Stephanie Murphy, recently announced their intentions to create a memorial to those whose lives were taken June 12, 2016; Soto said:
“This is an important step to preserve an LGBT historic landmark at a time when many of these sites are being destroyed. The memorial will serve as a reminder of the remarkable way our community came together to heal and overcome hate.”
At present, funds raised by the non-for-profit group onePULSE have helped establish the site as a temporary landmark, but if this bill passes—and remember, it’s Florida so it might be an uphill climb … the governor of the state recently marked the anniversary of the Pulse shooting without mentioning the LGBTQ community at all—Pulse would have access to national funds to help maintain the memorial as a permanent site.
Barbara Poma, owner of Pulse, says the site has thus far raised $14 million of a $45 million goal.
“In these times when acts of hate and violence are on the rise, we must remember our past and work to do better now and in the future”.
If this bill passes, Pulse would become only the second LGBTQ site in the nation after the Stonewall Inn to become a national monument. And if it passes, I suggest we move to create a memorial to remember the UpStairs Lounge massacre as well; and maybe include the 1966 LGBTQ riot at the Compton Cafeteria in San Francisco.
We can celebrate Pride and dance and sing and have fun, but we need to remember the sadness and the tragedies of what has happened before; if we forget, then nothing will change.