What was the Pulse massacre?
On June 12th, 2016, our community was rocked by the massacre that claimed the lives of 49 people. The horror unfolded in the middle of Pride month on Latin night at Pulse Nightclub, a popular gathering place for young LGBTQ+ people of color in Orlando, Florida.
After Pulse, shock and disbelief turned to grief and anger. And at a moment when some sought to meet fear with fear and hate with hate, we saw a community pull together across differences and unite in a commitment to challenge bigotry and hatred, not nourish it. A deep resilience emerged from survivors, the victims’ loved ones, Orlando residents and leaders, and LGBTQ+ people and our allies across the country and around the world.
Where did “#HonorThemWithAction” Originate?
In the aftermath of Pulse, it was a unified message of love and the promise to honor the victims, survivors, and families with action that lifted the Orlando community. The Pulse massacre could not become yet another national tragedy. Action was and is necessary to ensure the lasting memorial of Pulse is the real change of uprooting hatred, discrimination, and violence of all kinds in our culture. Now, we all have a chance united to #HonorThemWithAction by empowering and uplifting the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities again.
What is the #HonorThemWithAction Campaign?
The campaign began as a way for individuals to share on social media how they were honoring the Pulse remembrance by taking actions in their community to combat discrimination and violence against LGBTQ+ and Latinx people. Actions large and small – from coming out or standing up for friends, to organizing fundraisers and community events – thousands of people have taken action.
This year, as we prepare for one of the most important elections of our lifetime, we’re asking people to honor the 49 victims by making a plan to vote.
Since 2016, millions of people have been reached by #HonorThemWithAction – over 147 million alone in 2017 alone! Individuals, organizations, and companies – across the nation – have used the hashtag to post how they were actively challenging anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, resisting violence, and giving back to their communities.
The National Equality March made #HonorThemWithAction their slogan in 2017. The Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force, Gays Against Guns and GLAAD are among national organizations that have used #HonorThemWithAction to help amplify the message. You can view the full list of more than 200 partner organizations here (coming soon).
The effort has also been embraced by elected officials including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Elizabeth Warren as well as celebrities including George Takei, RuPaul, U2 and Sara Ramirez. Major league sports teams Miami Heat and the Tampa Bay Rays also used the hashtag to raise awareness about the movement. The Tampa Bay Rays created a video they shared on social media and played at their game during Pride Night.
Just as powerful are the messages from ordinary people in small towns who have used the moment to take a brave step:
- “I finally came out to my Aunt. #HonorThemWithAction”
- “I asked my company to adopt a nondiscrimination policy. #HonorThemWithAction”
- “I called my Senator to ask them to support commonsense gun reform #HonorThemWithAction”
- “I volunteered with a group that works to end school bullying. #HonorThemWithAction”
As we approach the remembrance of Pulse, we ask you to join us in our #HonorThemWithAction campaign to give back to the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities, uplift our most vulnerable voices, and honor the victims through service.