The world still reels from the events of yesterday, the senseless murder of 50 members of the LGBT community at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.
But it is paramount to acknowledge this was a terrorist attack motivated by homophobia, and that’s why #GaysBreakTheInternet is so important.
LGBT people are rightfully claiming the Orlando tragedy as an attack against their identities and their community, despite a large chunk of media reports omitting the fact that the attack was on a gay venue.
But this wasn’t any old terrorist act.
What we know is the terrorist committed his massacre in a gay club. He chose to murder innocent club goers during Pride month, and the killer has expressed homophobic sentiment before.
It’s pretty damn obvious what kind of message his barbarity was sending- and it’s not an attack on ‘us all’. It’s an attack on LGBT people and their safe spaces.
it's a hate crime. its a hate crime. it's a hate crime. it's a hateful homophobic hate crime. why is 'terrorism' easier to say?
— Stella Duffy (@stellduffy) June 12, 2016
Politicians were quick to use the tragedy as political fodder- to further reinforce the need to get tougher on terrorism.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull initially in his first address regarding the tragedy was reluctant to even mention the homophobic nature of the attack.
While on Sky News, Guardian columnist Owen Jones was forced to storm off the set, after fellow panellists refused to acknowledge that the attack was a blatant gay hate crime.
— Jacqueline Barsley (@jacqbarsley) June 13, 2016
It might be the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11, but what also needs to stick is this is the worst massacre against the LGBT community in recent memory within a western democratic country.
As the LGBT community grieve and pay their respects to those needlessly killed for simply living as their true selves, a hashtag has emerged today on Twitter #GaysBreakTheInternet, with queer users posting images of themselves to silence the hate and show solidarity with one another.
We aren't gonna shut up, we're gonna break the internet. #gaysbreaktheinternet
— Olivia Dillon (@templar_batman) June 13, 2016
— jamie corbett (@justjamiie) June 12, 2016
— Christian (@nahnahchill) June 13, 2016
— gayboy (@jewshwaa) June 13, 2016
— A$AP ♛ (@TianeeangelX) June 13, 2016
— creole jay (@Jacei_) June 13, 2016
— Mari Haarajärvi (@marihaarajarvi) June 13, 2016
— amie (@vortexxxclub) June 13, 2016
Some Twitter users even seized the chance to come out for the first time, using the hashtag- finding solace in the support offered from the online LGBT community.
— C h a r (@halsxyafi) June 13, 2016
— Marlyn (@Marlyn_Marie) June 13, 2016
— Meg/Pls Cam (@Didyoucamdallas) June 13, 2016
— jay lee (@jay_leex) June 13, 2016
The amount of people coming out using #GaysBreakTheInternet as a platform is epic.
Be who you are, love who you love, never live in fear. ?
— Windsor Rose/Anthony (@TheAnthonyMcKB) June 13, 2016