The secret of the second biggest mass murder of gay people in US history

Thursday 3rd August 2017 | Grace

On the 12th June 2016, one of the most heinous hate crimes in America and LGBT+’s histories was committed as tragically, 49 people were shot dead and 43 more injured when a gun man attacked innocent people in the busy gay nightclub, Pulse.

The nightclub was based in one of Florida’s LGBT+ hotspots in Orlando and although this is thought to be one of the worst mass attacks on gay people in the US to date, this is not the first time the mass murder of gay people has occurred in the USA.

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43 years before this, on 24th June 1973, a fire occurred at the Up Stairs Lounge, horribly killing 32 and injuring 15 patrons of the bar in what was thought to be a malicious hate attack on the gay community of New Orleans.

But it was in the aftermath of the fire that the truth came out behind the way people in the LGBT+ community were really treated. Radio show hosts made demining jokes towards the dead (“What will they bury the ashes of the queers in? Fruit jars?”), churches refused to hold funerals for the men and families refused to claim their children’s bodies, leaving four people unclaimed and were consequently dumped in a mass grave.

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As well as all this, the police department refused to do a proper investigation into the fire and the cause still remains unknown.

It’s disgraceful to think that even today, LGBT+ people are being verbally and physically attacked and belittled with way too many people turning a blind eye.

This month celebrates Brighton pride. It’s time to come together to remember the lives of those lost in both of these monstrous events, and celebrate the love & coming together of human beings, no matter who we are as individuals.