Dear friends,

Today, we pause in somber reflection as we mark seven years since the tragic event at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As we remember the 49 precious lives lost and those affected, we are reminded of the depth of our collective grief, the resilience of our community, and the sacredness of the spaces we hold dear.

Pulse was more than a nightclub. It was a sanctuary. It was a place where love dared to speak its name, where the spectra of identities, expressions, and orientations could converge in joyous celebration, in shared understanding, and in the safety of collective acceptance. Pulse was a testament to our community’s capacity to curate spaces of sacred affirmation and authentic expression. It was a queer sacred space in its most profound sense.

As a pastor, I believe that the divine is not confined to traditional places of worship. It is found in the spaces where love, understanding, and acceptance reside. It thrives in environments where individuals can cast aside the shackles of societal expectations and freely express their sacred individuality. Pulse was one such place—a beacon of divinity because it allowed its patrons to experience the divine within themselves and others.

The tragedy of Pulse shakes us to our core because it was an assault on what we hold sacred. It was an attempt to violate a sanctuary of our own creation. And yet, we stand resilient. We stand unified in our pain, our memories, and our hope for a more accepting and loving world.

In the face of such adversity, our duty—our divine calling—is to protect these sacred spaces. Our shared pain is a stark reminder that we are the guardians of sanctuaries like Pulse. It falls on us to ensure that our spaces of love, acceptance, and celebration are preserved and multiplied so that our community—present and future—may continue to find solace, acceptance, and joy within them.

As we remember Pulse today, let us remember the divine love it stood for and represented. Let us remember the sanctity of the spaces we create and inhabit. Let us carry the memories of our lost siblings in our hearts as we continue to fight for the sanctity of our sacred spaces. In their honor, let us continue to strive for a world where all can be their authentic selves, without fear, in celebration of the diversity of their sacred existence.

We remember Pulse. We remember the 49. And in our memory and our actions, their legacy lives on.

In solidarity and love,

Harold Marrero
Chief Operating Officer

We encourage you to share this information with friends, fellow teachers, and allies and join us in bringing awareness to our efforts. Your support is essential for our ongoing work to create safe spaces for all students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or expression. Please consider donating to Safe Schools so that we can continue advocating for inclusivity and diversity within the education system.