Sub/Merge is a queer dance party in Portland, Maine. Our mission as a party has been to stand in solidarity with people across Maine and beyond who are working to build communities that are safe and equitable for young people, queers, people of color, immigrants & refugees, workers of all kinds, and folks from a myriad of other marginalized communities.

Today, our hearts are broken.

We are sending love and solidarity to those grieving in the aftermath of the mass shooting during Latin Night last night at Pulse Orlando, an LGBTQ club. We are mourning the tremendous loss that the queer and trans community, including so many LGBTQ & allied Latinx folks, are surviving today. We love you. We see you. We will do what we can from afar, following your voices and your needs.

Grief is powerful. Mass grief is a force of nature. It can galvanize us for liberation, or it can make us want to blame and punish. It can crack us open or close us down.

As queers and trans folks, as organizers, as survivors, as people with and without privilege of various kinds, we are pleading with our communities: please make this grief in which we find each other. Please make this grief in which we howl and fight the systems that manufactured this moment, instead of doing just what the system wants from us: Islamophobic scapegoating, validating this country’s indefensible criminal justice system, and letting racism and fear drive our actions as individuals and our priorities in systems, organizations, and institutions.

We have witnessed and experienced a mainstream movement where gay organizations prioritize the needs of middle-class, white gay people over poor and working-class LGBTQ people of color. In this moment we call on these organizations to make a clear and ongoing commitment to the liberation of all of our LGBTQ++ communities. We call on these organizations and we call on each other, do not let this tragedy be used to justify oppression, violence, and militarism. In the days ahead we must all raise our voices to say: NOT IN OUR NAME.

NOT IN OUR NAME will you equate ISIS with all Muslims.

NOT IN OUR NAME will you erase the Latinx identities of those killed.

NOT IN OUR NAME will you silence the voices and religious and cultural identities of queer and LGBT Muslims.

NOT IN OUR NAME will you forget that Wounded Knee was the largest mass shooting in US history.

NOT IN OUR NAME will you present incarceration and criminalization as a solution to violence.

NOT IN OUR NAME will you increase militarism, war, and empire building.

NOT IN OUR NAME will you deny the long histories of racist enslavement, US imperialism, and genocide that led us to this--and many other--deliberate acts ofviolence.

But it's not enough to say what we don't stand for. We also must say what we do.

IN OUR NAME, listen to the voices of those directly affected by racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, and transphobic violence.

IN OUR NAME, use whatever platforms you have to amplify the voices of those directly affected and demand that the organizations and communities--LGBTQ and otherwise--you support and donate to do the same.

IN OUR NAME, love your queer community members.

IN OUR NAME, make your communities safer for young LGBTQ people by listening to what they identify as needs and supporting their work.

IN OUR NAME, interrupt Islamophobic comments.

IN OUR NAME, keep fighting. Keep fighting. Keep fighting.

IN OUR NAME, remember that true liberation means everyone in and nobody out.

Grief is powerful. Mass grief is a force of nature. Fellow queers, for this storm, we need to build a shelter big enough for all of us.
Let's get to work.

Fierce grief & fierce love,
The Sub/Merge Crew
June 2016