Keep Dancing Orlando Remembers Pulse Victims By Dancing
The group Keep Dancing Orlando created this video of diverse Orlando residents getting jiggy all over the city to remember the “49 beautiful souls that were taken at Pulse.” With Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” playing in the background (already a tear-jerker), people let loose and werk it just about everywhere. People are dancing, jumping, singing and waving flags throughout the city, and the overall energy is super uplifting. This video hit so close for so many people, it even played at the funeral of Eddie Sotomayor, one of the Pulse victims.
The video invites viewers to dance and also donate to the foundation One Orlando, which benefits the victims of America’s largest mass shooting and their families. The group’s site encourages people to not surrender to hate, “Forty-nine beautiful souls were taken at Pulse, but their spirit dances on in all of us.”
On June 12, 2016, an armed man entered Pulse Nightclub and opened fire. Forty-nine people died that night as a result and 53 were injured. The shooting was the most deadly shooting at the time. Now, two survivors are claiming they are no longer gay after finding Christ and are marching in the name of conversion five minutes away from the deadly attack.
Angel Colon and Luis Javier Ruiz survived the Pulse Nightclub massacre and have since claimed they are no longer gay men.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Colon and Ruiz have created an organization to promote the debunked and dangerous theory that homosexuality is something that can be changed. It has been scientifically proven that sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be changed at will. There have recently been high-profile examples of former conversion therapy advocates coming out as gay and rejecting the mentality that it is something that can be “fixed.”
As part of their ministry, Colon and Ruiz are hosting a “Freedom March” on Sept. 14 in Orlando five minutes from the remains of the Pulse Nightclub.
Ruiz and Colon told NBC News that their mission is not to forcibly change anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We’re trying to equip churches, even if they’re not gay-affirming churches, with the resources they need and teach them not to judge the LGBTQ community,” Colon explained to NBC News. “We’re trying to share our stories through ministry and share the testimonies of people who’ve come out of the homosexual lifestyle.”
The march has been received with mixed reviews with many in the LGBTQ+ community seeing the march as an attack on the community.
There is also a sentiment that the march is an insult to the memories of those who died that night simply for being part of the LGBTQ+ community.
“While we honor the freedom for expressions of faith, and hold the beauty of religiosity in our community, we cannot condone the gross misuse of religious text and faith to exploit LGBTQ+ people or support conversion therapy,” Christopher Cuevas, the executive director of QLatinx, wrote in an email to NBC News. “The expressions of our queer and transgender identities are the embodiment of divinity and grace, because we are living our most radical truth by celebrating and centering our LGBTQ+ identity.”
Ruiz has suggested that people can choose their sexuality and their path.
However, what Ruiz fails to understand is that scientific studies are proving more and more that is it the genetic makeup and brain chemistry that dictate a person’s sexual orientation. Studies have proved that people have not better of a chance to change their sexual orientation than they do their hair or eye color.
LGBTQ+-friendly religious organizations have reached out to Orlando asking for help stopping the march.
“The Freedom March describes their movement as ‘former homosexuals and transgenders sharing our testimonies and celebrating our freedom.’ At Q Christian Fellowship, our members have far too much experience with the damage that can be done by organizations promoting ‘ex-gay’ ideologies and conversion therapies premised on the false and dangerous claim that people must be ‘delivered from LGBTQ+ lifestyles,'” reads the open letter. “You should be aware that The Freedom March possesses significant organizational overlap with anti-LGBTQ+ groups such as Equipped to Love, the Changed Movement, and Moral Revolution, which describes itself as ‘a company of radicals helping to define a healthy sexuality’ in a ‘generation overwhelmed by conflicting messages about love, lust, and relationships.'”
But, some LGBTQ+ community members are spreading the message of love being the most powerful weapon against this anti-LGBTQ+ movement.
Love is one of the most powerful tools in anyone’s arsenal. In the face of a march trying to tell young LGBTQ+ people that they can change, it is important that people raise their voices in love and support. Being LGBTQ+ is okay and natural.
Colombian dancer and choreographer Sergio Trujillo has lived a life, and it’s getting more colorful. The artist won his first Tony award last weekend and took his stage moment to thank his cast, his husband, and to come out as a formerly undocumented immigrant.
This isn’t just a story about an immigrant who has made spectacular contributions to American culture and art. Trujillo wants other dreamers to know that, despite the political climate, they should keep fighting for their dreams. Anything’s possible.
Trujillo first dedicated his award “to my Colombian family who had taught me to love music and dance since I was a little boy.”
As Trujillo stepped up to the mic to make his acceptance speech, he literally jumped up and down on the stage. “I’m so lucky,” he began. “There are so many people I love in my life.” He specifically thanked his mother and siblings in Spanish and continued his speech in English.
“I arrived in New York City over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.”
“I didn’t just show up yesterday,” he announced. “I arrived in NYC over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.” Trujillo later told AP News that his announcement felt like he was coming out as a gay man all over again.
Only his husband, family, and close friends knew about his immigration story.
He opened up about the internalized shame he still carries from living in the U.S. without papers. “One keeps it so deep inside, it’s like a secret that one must maintain. So when I talk about it I still feel guilty, like I’m doing something wrong,” he told AP.
Trujillo felt called to use his platform to send a message of hope to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
“I stand here as proof,” he said to an audience giving him a standing ovation. “For all those dreamers, I want you to hear this. The American dream is still alive. You just have to keep on fighting because change will come.”
Trujillo quickly code-switched and concluded with a rallying call in Spanish.
“For all those who are listening, I want you to know that if I, Sergio Trujillo, born in Cali, Colombia, can win this moment, so can you. You can do it.”
Trujillo’s family moved from Cali, Colombia to Canada when he was 12 years old.
They lived there illegally for a few years until they were granted amnesty. He then crossed the Canadian border with his Colombian passport and stayed illegally for ten more years until he was granted citizenship.
He studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto until he quit to try his luck on Broadway.
He lived at friends’ houses, took dance classes and auditioned. Once he started being hired to perform in Broadway shows, he was able to get temporary visas.
Trujillo’s hard work has certainly paid off.
While he hasn’t publicly spoken about this very long chapter of his life–one which necessitated his success–he told AP that “now, more than ever, is the perfect time to talk about that.” Trujillo doesn’t anticipate dancing at the White House anytime soon.
In 2014, four Broadway shows, all choreographed by him, were playing at the same time.
Trujillo first started out as a dancer on Broadway and worked up to become a choreographer. He’s also won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Memphis in 2015.
His first Tony is for Best Choreography for Ain’t Too Proud.
The Broadway musical is based on the lives of The Temptations. As the Chicago White Sox owner is seeking to commemorate the organized burning of disco and soul music created by Black and Latinx artists, this commemoration of The Temptations is more important than ever.
His first Tony nomination was for his work on On Your Feet!–the Broadway depiction of the lives of the Estefans.
In an Instagram post, the infamous Gloria Estefan congratulated Trujillo, “CONGRATULATIONS to the wonderful @sergiotrujillo1 who was nominated previously for our musical, @onyourfeetbway and last night won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography for @AintTooProud. #TonyAwards This is SO well deserved and it’s about time, baby!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”
His name has also graced the Broadway production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.
His work on that production earned him a 2018 Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. The entire cast was all-female.
Trujillo has been with his husband, Jack Noseworthy, for 30 years.
The two met in 1990 and married in 2011. Just last year, they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family.
We stan this family photo.
“My world all in one beautiful picture!!!!,” Trujillo’s caption reads. We assume that the woman is his beautiful mother. We’re mami’s boys and girls all our lives.
Apparently, if Trujillo was trapped on a desert island forever, he’d want to be with Jeremy Pope.
He played Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud, so the two have worked together. Don’t worry. We have footage of Trujillo’s husband’s reaction.
Noseworthy’s face when hearing Turjillo’s answer:
Trujillo digs the hole deeper when he says that Pope is just so talented that he’d be able to do anything. He’s also a good cook.
Honey, you in trouble.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has named him one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world.
His work cannot be denied, and, truthfully, neither can his love for marido, Jack. Happy Pride.
Congrats on your Tony and a much-appreciated coming out, Trujillo!
This time, for coming out as a once undocumented immigrant. Your story is an inspiration.