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With their survival at stake, the LGBTQ community is converting agony into action

Five years following the massacre at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Brandon Tensley reports on how the shooting has fueled efforts toward education, inclusion and gun control measures. Tenlsey, a 2012 Furman University alumnus and national political writer for CNN Politics, spoke to survivors of the rampage that took the lives of 49 people in June 2016. He also spoke to Florida state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, the first out LGBTQ Latino person elected to the Florida Legislature, and who is pushing legislation to ban assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines.

In his summary, Tensley cites research showing that members of the LGBTQ community are four times more likely than non-LGBTQ persons to be victims of violent crime. “Indeed, five years later, thinking about the 49 clubbers who were massacred while doing nothing more than having a good time still feels like a punch to the gut to many LGBTQ people. That’s because violence, even the fear of it, continues to shape how members of the community navigate the world around them,” he writes.

A Furman German studies and political science graduate, Tensley received a master’s in politics from the University of Oxford in 2015.

Last updated June 14, 2021
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Clinton Colmenares
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