What happened at the Pulse Club in Orlando on June 12 was a tragedy. 49 people were killed, and 53 more were injured. There are not words to express the horror of this event. But words seem to be called for, and words are definitely being used. As soon as this news was released, conversations started on social media, in homes, in coffee shops. There is hurt. There is pain. There is anger. There is misunderstanding.
I often feel helpless in the face of tragedy. I worry about what my response should be. Do I have a duty to respond publicly? Do I even have a right?
As a librarian, I do have a duty to promote understanding, to provide people with information, to help them bridge knowledge gaps. Following several recent tragedies, digital librarians and educators have been joining together to do just that. They have created crowd sourced online lists of recommended readings and other materials in an effort to help promote informed discussions. There is a #fergusonsyllabus, a #charlestonsyllabus, and now sadly there is a #pulseorlandosyllabus.
It is said that to know someone you should walk a mile in their shoes. Perhaps by listening to the voices of this community, by reading their words, we can begin to start to understand. And through understanding, maybe we can help and heal. I encourage you to look at the full list of materials on the Pulse Orlando Syllabus.
June 12th was Latin Night at the Pulse Club. A large number of the victims were members of the Latin American LGBTQ community. Because of that I would like to share some selections from the syllabus that the Library has in our collection that deal particularly with the experiences of that community.
The Gods of Tango by Carolina de Robertis
The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood by Richard Blanco
We the Animals by Justin Torres
Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez