When asked how he felt, Borges softy said: “I feel good.”
The interview took place at Borges’ new home. The “Today” show reports that his family had to move out of their apartment because it wasn’t accessible to Anthony’s wheelchair. The family is now living in a one-story home.
“Today” interviewer, Kerry Sanders asked Borges if he felt lucky to be alive. Borges just responded by nodding yes. He also said that he truly thought he was going to die.
His family showed the hundreds of letters that Borges has received from complete strangers, many of which he has yet to read. His mother got emotional reading one of the letters that described Borges as a “fighter, winner, champion.”
Carlitos Rodriguez, one of Borges’ friends, was also interviewed on the “Today” show saying: “It shouldn’t have happened on Feb. 14. It shouldn’t have happened ever, not in my school or any other school.”
Borges visited his school for the first time since he was wounded.
Principal at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Ty Thompson tweeted: “Great to see Anthony back on campus: a true inspiration.”
His classmate, Emma González also tweeted: “We are so thankful and happy to know Anthony is safe and back at it at the eagle’s nest.”
Borges’ family is still going forward with their lawsuit against the county public schools.
“The failure of Broward County Public Schools, and of the Principal and School Resource Officer to adequately protect students, and in particular our client, from life-threatening harm were unreasonable, callous and negligent,” Alex Arreaza wrote in a notice of intent to sue.
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.
When applying to most local, federal, and government jobs, one of the skills that a majority of employers look for is whether or not the applicant speaks Spanish. Being bilingual in English and Spanish in this country is beneficial to the employer, their customers, and the employee because typically the job is supposed to have a better salary. There are also some places in the country that have large populations of people who speak Spanish and are more comfortable functioning in that language.
There are an estimated 41 million people that speak Spanish in the U.S., or 13 percent of the population, according to Babble. So, speaking Spanish isn’t — at least it should be — a big deal, in fact, it’s quite common. But in Trump America, it’s another story.
Seven female workers with the Florida Department of Health are coming forward to say they have gotten direct instructions not to speak Spanish in the office.
The women say that even though they were hired because of their Spanish-speaking skills, so they could communicate better with their patients, they are now told not to speak the language with one another in the office.
“We speak in English to the Anglo-Saxons because we are polite, but we speak Spanish with each other because we think in Spanish,” MairylÍ Miranda, a nurse, told El Nuevo DÍa. “But one day they gathered us all together and warned us that if we continued to do so, we would be fired. But there is no law that bans us from speaking Spanish.”
The seven women on the complaint work at a Florida Department of Health clinic in Haines City, and are also all Puerto Rican.
Aside from nurses, the employees on the complaint include an administrative assistant and a secretary. The Florida Department of Health has yet to make a public comment about these allegations. They also allege that management has been on them to stop speaking Spanish for quite some time, but it has only gotten worse in the past year. An official harassment report has been filed to the police department, but the women said nothing has yet to be done.
“It feels like you’re a criminal like you’re doing something that is wrong,” Miranda said, according to Bay News 9. “Never in my life did I think I was going to go through a situation like this one.”
Some people may assume that these employees are speaking Spanish in a way that others may think is rude. But they claim they are very professional at work and never speak Spanish around someone that may not understand them.
While these claims aren’t surprising, especially under this tense and traumatic Trump-era racism, it’s reassuring to know that state and local officials are supporting these employees.
“Haines City is a well-diversified community,” Haines City Mayor Morris West said in a conference, according to the Palm Beach Post. “The facility that’s in question is in Haines City but is not a city of Haines City facility. I stand on behalf of these nurses that’s been [facing] allegations of discrimination against them. Haines City and my staff stand ready to support you nurses from any discrimination.”
Other advocates of these women include Respeta Mi Gente Coalition, which includes Alianza for Progress, Boricua Vota, Hispanic Federation, Misión Boricua, and Organize Florida. U.S. Rep. Darren Soto is also backing these women.
It’s important to note that the United States does not have an official language.
There is nothing in the Constitution that states people in the United States, both citizens or otherwise, have to speak English and English only. Scholars say that the Founding Fathers didn’t include a clause about the English language because immigrants of the 13 colonies spoke other languages, including Dutch, French, and German. Native Americans spoke different languages as well.
Lawmakers in the past, as recent as 2006, have attempted to make English the official language but thankfully, because of our democracy, the votes have never gone past the House. That doesn’t mean local and government officials haven’t tried to force English on everyone. It’s just part of our assimilation whether we like it or not.
So the next time someone is yelling racist things such as “stop speaking Spanish” just yell back “English is not the official language of this country. Bye!”