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The SIOP LGBT Committee and the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy in Orlando

Steve Discont, Ismael Diaz, Kristen Jones, Alex Lindsey, Kenneth Matos, Katina Sawyer, and Christian Thoroughgood

The SIOP LGBT Committee

Steve Discont, Illinois Institute of Technology
Ismael Diaz, California State University, San Bernadino
Kristen Jones, University of Memphis
Alex Lindsey, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Kenneth Matos, Life Meets Work Inc.
Katina Sawyer, Villanova University
Christian Thoroughgood, Villanova University

At the time of this being penned, it has been 2 months and 12 days since an individual entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killed 49 people, wounded 53 more, and left LGBTQ people across the United States reeling. In place of our normal standing column, we are taking a pause in order to convey, as the SIOP LGBT Committee, that our hearts go out to Orlando’s queer community as a whole, and especially to its queer Latin@ people. Nightclubs, for many LGBTQ people, are often one the few places where individuals can be authentic in the face of the discrimination experienced in their daily lives. An event like this has left cracks in the community’s psyche, as it tells us that one of the few places LGBTQ individuals could be themselves is no longer safe.

At a time of such tragedy as this, even months after the terrible event, there are some options for aiding victims. For example, individuals might donate to charities such as the OneOrlando Fund (oneorlando.org), which was organized to assist the victims, who were injured or killed that night, and their families. If you wish to have an impact in your own state and city, we urge you to volunteer your time or donate to organizations that serve queer communities. On a more national level, organizations such as Out & Equal (outandequal.org), Lambda Legal (lambdalegal.org), and the National Center for Transgender Equality (transequality.org) are worth donating to if you wish to see your money have a more organizationally focused impact.

Finally, the SIOP LGBT Committee entreats upon all members of SIOP to fight heterosexism and transphobia when you encounter it. In this very politically charged time, discrimination against LGBTQ people is on the rise. In the United States, a country where it is still legal to discriminate on a federal level against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and their gender identity and preference, it is of the utmost importance that we as I-O professionals stand together, fight injustice, and spread love, equality, and safety in our families, organizations and communities.

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