Orlando is also the name of the “love letter” Virginia Woolf wrote Vita Sackville-West.
Orlando is lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning…
Orlando explores the instability as much as the performativity of gender.
Orlando is play; Orlando is drag.
Orlando deconstructs binaries.
Orlando delights in ambiguities.
Orlando played on heterosexual ground and won.

Orlando is now drenched in blood.
Orlando is the violation of human rights.
Orlando is youth that did not deserve to die.
Orlando is annihilation merely for being who you are.
Alas, Orlando, did we not always know?
And, yet, Orlando drove the point home.
But Orlando is also Pride.
Orlando is Pulse.
Orlando is Life.
Orlando is Latinx.
Orlando has not yet lost.

Orlando will rise again.
But death and loss cannot be overcome in a day.
Murder so brutal and violent will take a long, long time.
Generations will be traumatized in ways we cannot yet fathom.
Orlando will not be forgotten.
Orlando will not forget.
But Orlando will rise again.

Divya Radhika

Divya Radhika Bhalla hails from India and has an MPhil in English Literature from the University of Delhi. She is currently working on her PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Kansas with a focus on speculative fiction. She is the fiction editor for Beecher’s 6.

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