The Asian American parents of LGBT+ kids have issued an incredibly moving letter in support of the families of the victims of a mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida which left 49 dead and another 53 injured.
The open letter was published earlier this week, including signatories from the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance.
The organisation describes itself as a US federation of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander groups.
“We, the Asian American Parents Who Love Our LGBTQ Kids, are heartbroken about the Orlando tragedy,” the letter reads, continuing to acknowledge the hate crime nature of the shooting, which was directed mainly at LGBT people and those of Hispanic heritage.
Read the full letter below:
We, the Asian American Parents Who Love Our LGBTQ Kids, are heartbroken about the Orlando tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, both given and chosen, especially their parents. Our thoughts are with those who were injured and are still fighting for their lives and those who are suffering emotional trauma. Our hearts go out to our LGBTQ community that is shaken by this horrible news and the loss of their friends and community members, particularly in the Latina/o community.
We support our LGBTQ children and we are proud of who they are. However, we are concerned because we know this world is not 100% safe for them. We condemn this type of unthinkable, senseless violence against the LGBTQ community. Our children are not people to be extinguished, they are loved and cherished and deserve to live their lives fully without hatred and bigotry.
We also stand in solidarity with Muslim families, especially parents with queer Muslim children. Many of our South Asian families are from Muslim backgrounds and they are our siblings in this fight against homophobia and transphobia. Our hearts are with our LGBTQ South Asian and Muslim community members who are reeling in pain from yesterday’s attack and feeling the combined pain of Islamophobia, homophobia and racism. We stand in solidarity with you.
If you are the parent of an LGBTQ child and are having a hard time, we urge you to reach out to other parents for support. Even if you are struggling to accept your LGBTQ children, this is time when your child needs your understanding and support. Reach out to your child and share your fear and worries but do let them know you would be there for them. Our children need our unconditional love and may need our shoulders to cry on.
We support our queer API community and stand behind you. If you are not out to your own parents and family members, you may not be able to talk about your own feelings and feel more isolated. Please seek out support from your chosen family and supportive friends. We are also here if you need someone to talk to.
This is a time we need to hold each other and be there for each other. This is a time we renew our commitment to continue fight for equality of our children and their community. We vow to hold our ground and be more vocal and visible because we love our queer API children.
In love and solidarity,
Clara Yoon, API Rainbow Parents in PFLAG NYC
Laurin Mayeno, Out Proud Families
Marsha Aizumi, San Gabriel Valley API PFLAG
49 people were killed and 53 injured on Sunday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.
ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.
In a statement, President Obama mourned the victims of the homophobic hate crime attack and called for greater restrictions on arms sales.
In response, Republican nominee Donald Trump said Obama should resign for failing to rally against Islam in his comments.
The attack has been condemned by American Muslim leaders, who addressed ISIS in saying: “You do not speak for us.”
But millions of people around the world have showed solidarity with the victims of the shooting and the community in Orlando,