Art piece by Derek Dizon. • Courtesy Photo
Art piece by Derek Dizon. • Courtesy Photo

The following is a statement from API Chaya:

Our hearts are with Florida this week. We are mourning and heart-broken after hearing the news of the mass shooting at an LGBTQ night club, Pulse in Orlando, FL that took 50 lives this weekend. Our thoughts, prayers, and love are with victims and their loved ones. Equality Florida has launched a GoFundMe Campaign for the victims. Please consider donating if you are able.

Our hearts are with our LGBTQ Latinx and Queer and Trans communities of color. Many of the victims in the Pulse nightclub shooting were Latinx, as it was Latin Night at Pulse. Gay clubs have held an important place in LGBTQ history and community. For LGBTQ people of color, the safe spaces we create for one another are essential to our resilience. The attack on these spaces, and the ongoing violence and oppression faced by LGBTQ people of color, fundamentally shake our sense of safety and community. But we are coming together to support one another. The Black Power Epicenter hosted a QTPOC memorial Monday, June 13 on Beacon Hill. More information can be found here.

Our hearts are with our Muslim communities, especially LGBTQ Muslims, as the media’s Islamophobia spirals following this tragedy. The Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity released this statement yesterday:

“This tragedy cannot be neatly categorized as a fight between the LGBTQ community and the Muslim community. As LGBTQ Muslims, we know that there are many of us who are living at the intersections of LGBTQ identities and Islam. At moments like this, we are doubly affected. We reject attempts to perpetuate hatred against our LGBTQ communities as well as our Muslim communities. We ask all Americans to resist the forces of division and hatred, and to stand against homophobia as well as against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry. Let us remember that the actions of a single individual cannot speak for all Muslims. Let us also remember that there are many straight Muslims who have been strong allies to the Muslim LGBTQ community. We see the beauty in our cultures and our faith traditions, and we have experienced love, acceptance and support from many in our Muslim communities.

Tragedies like this often lead people to look for someone or something to blame, but we ask our friends to resist this temptation. Let us instead recommit ourselves to working toward a world without hatred and prejudice. To our straight Muslim allies, we ask you to join us in continuing to build support for LGBTQ people. To our non-Muslim allies, we ask you to join us in standing against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry. And to all peace-loving people everywhere, we ask for your compassion and your support at this very difficult time for our community.”

Islamophobia should never come in the name of LGBTQ rights or safety. Please take a moment to read the statement by the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity here:

This morning we received news that our long-term community partner, Muslim Association of the Puget Sound (MAPS) in Redmond, has increased security today due to anonymously reported threats to the Redmond Police Department. We are in solidarity with MAPS and all of our Muslim communities.

Our hearts are with our communities here as we mourn in Seattle for the tragedy in Florida. As Pride month events unfold here in Seattle, we are reminded of the 2014 homophobic murders of Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young – two gay Black men, one of whom was Muslim. We are reminded of the ways we mourn together, organize in our times of grief and support one another. In the spirit of support our Muslim LGBTQ communities, please join NOOR (Seattle’s LGBTQI+ Muslim group) members and allies at the Timbre Room patio (Located behind Kremwork/Re-Bar) for “All Our Ishq”, a celebration of queer people of Islamic origin in the community. It will take place on Saturday June 18th from 7pm to 9pm. More information at

We encourage people to attend the vigils, to practice self- and community-care, to reach out to us and one another, and to be gentle and tender with ourselves and each other during this difficult time.

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