Orlando

In 2016 I did a performance for Instigate Arts at HOME. While I was putting the piece together the Orlando shooting happened and made me rethink everything. It was a terrible shock, and yet ... not. It would be even less of a shock now, in the terrible age of mass shootings that America is in the thick of. We assumed then that it was a hate crime, even though it turned out he might not have even realised it was a gay club after all. But we were ready to believe that it was, because it simply makes sense that the homophobia you see or feel or witness more or less every day in the world would one day inform a mass killing. (In fact, it already had, at the Admiral Duncan in Soho).

I meet and work with a lot of LGBT people and some of them have had their ambitions crushed before they have even been given a chance. That's what makes me especially sad and angry about Orlando, that people's ambitions and hopes and opportunities to do something wonderful in this life are wrenched away for literally no reason. On this remembrance day, I give love to the dead and to the living, and I am angry too.

At my performance, I had written the names of the youngest Orlando victims onto the backs of fortunes taken from fortune cookies. I read their names and read the various fortunes that they would never ever experience now, then gently blew the fortunes off the palm of my hand, and off they fluttered, into the air of the gallery.