On Friday, Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice and White House Public Engagement Director and Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond hosted a virtual roundtable with LGBTQ+ leaders and gun violence survivors and advocates to recognize the fifth anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Together, they observed a moment of silence to honor the 49 individuals who lost their lives in the Pulse tragedy and the traumatic impact that the mass shooting had on LGBTQ+ and Latino communities across the country.
During the meeting, three courageous LGBTQ+ gun violence survivors discussed the impact that gun violence has had on their lives. Participants shared their perspectives on the ongoing public health crisis of gun violence in America and the burden that this crisis has on LGBTQ+ communities across our nation. They discussed the epidemic levels of violence faced by transgender people, especially transgender women of color, and the impact of firearms in the crisis of anti-transgender homicides. Participants also discussed the intersection of gun safety and the movement to prevent and end suicide among LGBTQ+ youth.
Ambassador Rice and Congressman Richmond expressed gratitude for the participants’ courageous leadership in addressing acts of anti-LGBTQ+ violence, and for their persistent advocacy to tackle the gun violence epidemic. They reiterated President Biden’s commitment to advancing full equality for every LGBTQ+ person and family, including his urging for the Senate to pass the Equality Act to ensure that LGBTQ+ Americans can live free of discrimination and without fear of who they are or whom they love. Finally, they underscored President Biden’s deep commitment to ending the gun violence public health epidemic in America and reiterated his call for the Senate to pass bipartisan legislation to reduce gun violence that has already passed the House.
Participants in yesterday’s roundtable included:
- Jason Lindsay, Pride Fund to End Gun Violence
- Elle Moxley, The Marsha P. Johnson Institute
- Destini Philpot, Students Demand Action Baltimore & Good Kids Mad City Baltimore
- Casey Pick, The Trevor Project
- Andrea Pino-Silva, Community Justice Action Fund
- Bamby Salcedo, The TransLatin@ Coalition
- Nadine Smith, Equality Florida
- Beverly Tillery, New York City Anti-Violence Project
- Brandon Wolf, Survivor of the Pulse Nightclub Mass Shooting, and Advocate for LGBTQ+ Equality and Gun Violence Prevention
- Christopher Zoeller, March for Our Lives Florida