Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist




Pride and Pulse: One Year Later

Pride and Pulse: One Year Later
Jun 08, 2017 by Victoria Noe
Monday is the first anniversary of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where 49 people were murdered and 58 others were injured.

The shooting happened during Pride Month, when members of the LGBT community, long driven underground, celebrate their freedom to love.

Pride is rooted in the Stonewall riots, not celebrations. During the plague years of the AIDS epidemic, Pride parades were one of the few opportunities to get the media to focus on the desperation of those times (though the film footage was almost always of the most outrageously dressed participants). In cities across the US, Pride parades included contingents from organizations that could help people get tested and treated. The bonus was always free condoms, tossed by...

Friend Grief Overload

Friend Grief Overload
Jul 12, 2016 by Victoria Noe
For the past month, I’ve been – like many of you reading this – in a near-constant depression. Maybe not a clinical depression, but a feeling of almost unending sadness.

It started with the slaughter at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It wasn't just shocking. I was disturbed by my reaction. I wasn’t alone. Many people – in and out of the LGBT community – were devastated by the horror inflicted on people out for a fun Saturday night.

But it didn’t stop there: Baton Rouge, Minnesota, and the sniper in Dallas. Those weren’t the only shootings. I live in Chicago and almost every news broadcast opens with a tally of the previous day’s gun violence. But I’m not here to talk...

Friend Grief and Orlando - Part 2

Friend Grief and Orlando - Part 2
Jun 22, 2016 by Victoria Noe

As I wrote last week, I had a hard time understanding my feelings when I heard the news of the massacre at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. Unlike my response to 9/11 – to watch TV for hours at a time trying to make sense of it – I understood why this happened. My response, though, was something that felt a lot like flashbacks. That’s because it was.

What I witnessed over the next week was a replay of the best of what I refer to as ‘the bad old days’: the early days of the AIDS epidemic. That was when I saw the real power of friendship.

Then, like now, many people in the LGBT community...

Friend Grief and Orlando

Friend Grief and Orlando
Jun 14, 2016 by Victoria Noe
Like most of you, I woke up Sunday morning to the news of the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. And although the immediate rush to judgment was that it was a terrorist attack carried out by a young Muslim man, the unfolding truth is more complicated.

As I write this, we’re learning that he was not only infuriated by the sight of two men kissing, but he himself had spent time at the nightclub. He may have had a profile on a gay dating app. The facts are still being revealed. We’ll never really know why.

But one fact is certain: a gay nightclub was targeted. A group of people officially hated by most of the major religions and regularly denounced...