The Advocate magazine, a leading LGBT publication, has named the Pulse heroes as its people of the year.
The cover of the magazine’s forthcoming December 2016/January 2017 issue features Angel Colón, a survivor of the attack that killed 49 people.
“As 2016 ends, the victims of the Pulse shooting face the same danger that faces survivors of every other mass shooting in America: being forgotten,” author Michael Lambert writes. “But queer people do not forget. The vigils may wane, the debates may fizzle, the rainbow filters on profile pics may be swapped out, but the survivors of Pulse will not stop fighting for a better, safer community.”
The article on their site goes through the events of the night — now enshrined as Orlando’s darkest hour — and also covers the following days and the strength of the survivors and everyone else, the long lines and thousands of blood donations in Orlando, and the images of rainbow flags and lights lit up all over the world in solidarity.
A quote from Equality Florida co-founder and CEO Nadine Smith in the article states that the LGBT community was “above” the kind of xenophobia stoked by the election, with Donald Trump and supporters using the Pulse killer’s Islamic faith and praise of ISIS as a “rallying point.”
“In the midst of horror, it is easy to become the thing you hate,” Smith is quoted as saying. “But I’ve been proud of the fact our community has overwhelmingly resisted that.”
The article concludes by stating the Pulse tragedy was the opening of “a new chapter” for the community.
“Pulse is not a footnote in America’s struggle with gun violence; it’s the opening of a new chapter, one where enters the fire and resolve of the LGBT community,” Lambert writes. “In the past few generations, our communities have galvanized to battle a plague and to secure marriage equality, and fight even now to secure full civil rights — all steps forward that few in earlier generations had expected until they happened. America will invariably move on to the next gun-related tragedy, but the survivors of Pulse are here. And they will be heard for years to come.”