On Tuesday night in Orlando, there was no sight of a reporter at the Parliament House, the ageing gay resort whose club is the biggest queer gathering place in the city now that Pulse is closed, when a drag queen who had survived the shooting took the stage. It was Hip-Hop night, and gay people of color turned out en masse to dance, to remember, to forget.
I stayed at the run-down gay resort all week, and it was one of the most queer spaces I’ve ever encountered. Many of the staff who worked at Pulse also worked there. Drag queens and buff bartenders worked in the front bar, and a “Bear Den” in the back welcomed older men for late-night drinks . Sex workers and those looking for sex for free wandered around all hours of the day and night. It definitely sits in the margin.