Originally published on June 12, 2016 on The Washington Post by Steven Petrow
On Thursday, at the White House’s annual pride event, President Obama took note of the extraordinary violence that members of the LGBT community face around the world. “We’ve got work to do when LGBT people around the world still face incredible isolation and poverty and persecution and violence, and even death,” the president told a rapt audience. Naturally, he had no idea how violence and death would play out at a popular gay club in Orlando but three days later.
For gay men and lesbians of a certain age, both the fear of violence — not to mention the real thing — has long been part of our consciousness. We remember all too well the assassination of gay civil rights leader Harvey Milk in 1978. Dianne Feinstein, then president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, announced that Milk had been shot and killed.
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