Sunday began with one of the deadliest shootings in American history — at least 49 people were killed and more than 50 were injured. The attack took place at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, and the suspect was an American Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS the night of the attack.
The shooting is an immense tragedy for all Americans, but not all Americans will be equally affected in the days and weeks moving forward. Queer Muslims in particular are caught in the crossfire, mourning the tragedy even as they fear an anti-Muslim backlash in the wake of the attack. (According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, as of 2014, rates of hate crimes in the U.S. had declined against every group except Muslims.)
Since the attack, many queer Muslims have spoken out about living at the intersection of these identities, how it feels to be doubly and triply marginalized, and the ways in which Muslim and queer communities interact. Some begin by simply stating, "We exist."