On a Saturday night in July, members of the Orlando lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and LGBTQI spectrum gathered together at the Pulse nightclub to dance and sing, to be friends, and to celebrate Pride month, an annual commemoration to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. On Sunday morning at 3am, a gunman entered the club and fired shots into the crowd of over 100, killing 49 people, until police killed the shooter, resulting in 50 deaths total.
Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III joined Jim and Margery on Boston Public Radio to discuss the tragic events, and to reflect on the shock of the shooting during Pride month. “The gay bar serves [multiple services], it’s not just a place where you party, it serves as a place of communion and community,” Reverend Irene Monroe said. “It’s also the place where a lot of kids, particularly in the South, have those few hours to be ‘out’ and protected and maintain their anonymity.”
Pulse nightclub was celebrating Latino night on Saturday. The cultural component, according to Monroe, could potentially add another level to the community’s grief. “You have to look at the demographic group— a lot of the kids in that bar come out of communities of color,” Monroe said. “For some parents, this might be the first time they’re finding out that their child is gay, and might find out that their child is in the hospital —or worse— that the child has passed away.”
Rev. Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes for Huffington Post and Bay Windows. She and Rev. Emmett G. Price III, a professor of music at Northeastern University, and the author of The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture, joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio for their weekly feature,All Revved Up. Click on the audio link above to listen.