UPDATE: There is now an official GoFundMe created by LGBT community organizations in the Orlando area in response to the tragedy. Click here to contribute or share the post.
CNN reports that 50 people have been killed and at least 50 more have been injured by a man with a gun at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. (This story appears to be unrelated to Friday night’s shooting of Christina Grimmie, also in Orlando.) The shooter, who died in a standoff with police, has been identified, but we will not identify him. We instead point you to this video that explains how not to cover mass shootings:
With the advice of Charlie Brooker and Dr. Park Dietz in mind, we will not be naming the gunman, speculating as to his motive, opening a dialogue about gun control, mental health, or religious terror, or sensationalizing this story at all.
What we will be doing is showing you how you can help. If you are in the Orlando area, multiple sources (including the Orlando Sentinel) have reported that there is an urgent need for blood donations. Be aware that, by law, sexually active gay and bisexual men are barred from donating blood. (Whether this tragedy will cause lawmakers to reconsider this law is a question for another day.) Also be aware that long lines have been reported at blood donation centers:
Here is a list of currently known blood donation centers in the Orlando area:
OneBlood, 345 W Michigan St. #106
OneBlood, 8669 Commodity Cir
OneBlood, 2311 N Orange Ave – reported closed today
OneBlood, 1800 S Kirkman Rd – reported closed today
OneBlood, 2242 Aloma Ave – reported closed today
OneBlood is urging potential donors to call 888.936.6283 for more info.
If you are outside Orlando, you can still help. The majority of surviving victims have been taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, which is accepting donations at this link.
The American Red Cross has, as of this writing, not yet announced that it will be taking action in Orlando. Still, it’s far better to donate to a worthy cause than to not. Here’s the link to donate.
Also important is the future impact this horrific violence will have on the Orlando community in general and the LGBT community specifically. Here’s a link to donate to the Orlando Youth Alliance, which will be a safe space for LGBT youth affected by this tragedy.
Whether you’ve been affected personally by this tragedy or you just want the violence to stop, the time is now to act. Follow @WhatsTrending on Twitter for more updates to this story.