In the early morning of Sunday, June 12, 2016 the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida became the center of the worst mass shooting in American history. That morning 49 souls lost their lives. An additional 53 were injured. Latinx people were primarily targeted in this crime against the LGBTQI + community. I personally was reeling from the incident. Searching for some way to be a verb and do something to empower LGBTQI + young people who were in confusion and pain. To show them that LGBTQI + lives are beautiful and honored. That the actions of hate cannot darken their light.
To be a verb, sometimes it means reaching out.
Thankfully, author, television writer, musician and journalist, Paula Yoo (read amazing blog post), connected with us. The result was an AMAZING outpouring of books from authors and organizations from across America. Never Counted Out was honored to be one of the first to join this impact campaign. Sending books and extending future free book talks/workshops to the Orlando Youth Alliance. In their 25 year history, they have empowered over 1,500 LGBTQI + youth.
- To provide a non-exploitative, safe, drug and alcohol free, social outlet for youth ages 13 to 24 who are grappling with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning issues.
- To be proudly diverse by opening membership to youth without regard to sexual orientation, gender, religion, race or background.
- To serve as an educational and referral service for GLBTQ youth of Central Florida.
- To educate parents, academia, health care workers and other human service professionals about the development and diversity of sexuality and sensitize them to the reality and needs of the GLBTQ community.
- To facilitate in the development of the GLBTQ youth and to empower them to become leaders in the community.
Today is the one month anniversary of the Pulse night club shooting. While I still grieve what was lost that early morning, I take hope in the flood of books that are now being read by the young people in Orlando. Anyone who would like to be part of
#PrideToThePage or #SpreadTheLGBTQLove
simply connect with Never Counted Out. We’ll suggest other communities in need. And while we cannot take away the loss or the pain, but we can empower a generation that will be our future. All the best and rock the word!