Pauly Pagenhart

We stand against fear and for love.

Dear OFC Community:

Orlando vigilOur hearts broke when we learned of the hate-based gun violence in Orlando this past Sunday at a gay nightclub celebrating Latin Night. Many in our community are shaken to the core. We want to reach out to connect to you, and let you know we are processing this together with you.

Our hearts and minds are with the families and community members who lost loved ones in Orlando. We stand with all who are the victims of violent hate crimes. It seems like the number of people who are victims of violence is mounting, from the senseless massacre in Charleston just one year ago today, to the invisible, ongoing violence against transgender people of color every day, to the random acts against our Islamic brothers and sisters.

We stand against fear and for love.

We stand in solidarity with and support of Islamic queer families in our community whose religion has been singled out as the cause of this terrible tragedy, when  homophobia and easy access to firearms are in fact at the core of this attack. We stand with President Obama who said yesterday afternoon, “This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.”

For our community, this event is sure to resonate deeply and widely. We are committed to doing all that we can to work together to come to grips with this, which strikes close to our hearts. Please stay in touch with us and we’ll relay to you all that we are learning and doing. Together.

In solidarity,

Our Family Coalition

Resources on how to deal with trauma and talk about tragedies with your kids:

Common Sense Media: Explaining the News to Our Kids

VillageQ: Tragedies in the News: A Resource List for Parents

Mental Health America: Helping Children Cope With Tragedy Related Anxiety

The Washington Post: How teachers and parents can talk to kids about the Orlando shootings

Huffington Post: When I told my gay son 49 people died for being just like him

We Are Orlando – resources, information about vigils and how to help out

The core messages:

  • Role model the calm you’d like your kids to have;
  • Let your kids know that your family is safe;
  • Do what you can to eliminate repetitive iterations of the news via background TV or radio (or online) news;
  • Consider your own kids’ temperament as you engage the subject;
  • Keep communication lines open;
  • The younger the kid, the less likely they either have heard of the event, or can process it. The older the kid, the more likely, and the more important it is to let them express their feelings.

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