This week, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities experienced a horrific atrocity on our way of life. When Omar Matteen entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and caused the death of 49 people and the injury of 53 it shattered the hearts of many in our JOY community and across the world.
JOY 94.9 strongly condemns this hideous violence targeted at our communities, and sends our love to all those affected by this abhorrent tragedy.
While we are still learning new information on how and why this heartbreaking occurrence took place, we must not succumb to fear, or distract ourselves from being a strong, inclusive and supportive community. Now more than ever we must continue to provide a voice, break down isolation and celebrate the culture, achievements and pride of our diverse LGBTI communities.
While we dry our tears, we must open our hearts. Indeed, we must continue to open hearts and minds by fearlessly telling our stories and being exemplary leaders of inclusion and respect.
The LGBTI communities have experienced persecution and hatred for decades. We know that we need more love and understanding in this world. We have consistently demonstrated our resilience and commitment to the notion of celebration and inclusion. We must also re-double our efforts against terrorism, extremism, intolerance, bigotry, hatred and violence in all its forms.
As Australia’s only LGBTI radio station, and one of only four in the world, we will continue to provide a platform for the many diverse stories and perspectives of our LGBTI communities, including from people of many faiths and backgrounds. Our diverse communities will not be silenced.
To support this, JOY is offering for members of the Australian LGBTI communities and allies to post messages (text, audio or video) to those impacted by this terrible event, via our Facebook page.
These messages will be compiled and sent to the LGBT Center of Central Florida, who we are in contact with via our international current affairs program, World Wide Wave. Your messages will also inform a special tribute in the near future.
We will also be covering the Victorian Vigil on Thursday night . For more information about the Vigil, please see: http://www.vic.gov.au/news/support-for-orlando.html
JOY wishes to thank our staff, volunteers and members for overcoming fear, and remaining steadfast in our collective commitment to JOY’s purpose and values.
- Jed Gilbert, President
- Tennille Moisel, CEO
- James Findlay, Program Director
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