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That the Worst Shooting in US History Took Place in a Gay Bar Is Unsurprising
  • Nancy Unger, Santa Clara University
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History News Network (HNN)

The selection of Pulse, a gay Orlando nightclub, as the site for a murderous homophobic rampage makes the killer’s crime a special outrage in view of the role that nightclubs have played in this nation’s LGBTQ history. Like many popular LGTBQ clubs, Pulse serves not only as a welcoming place to party, but also as a community partner, hosting a variety of social and educational events including, for example, Breast Cancer Awareness and HIV/AIDS prevention. According to its website, Pulse Orlando serves as “a driving force within the GLBT community” and strives to “to make strides towards equality awareness, and love for all.” Nightclubs have been some of the most potent sites of identity, organization, and power in the long history of LGBTQ Americans.

Citation Information
Unger, N. (2016). That the Worst Shooting in US History Took Place in a Gay Bar Is Unsurprising. History News Network, 13 June 2016. Reprinted 13 June 2016 on TIME magazine’s website as “The Revolutionary Role of the Gay Bar in American History: Reprinted as “That the worst shooting in US history took place in a gay bar is sadly unsurprising” on and hundreds of additional news websites.