Puerto Rico’s first LGBT monument, designed by Alberto de la Cruz, has seven pointed pillars, each made with broken colored tiles representing the differently colored bars of the LGBT Pride flag and, possibly, representing the damages and breakthroughs sustained by LGBT people worldwide.
San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín (above) unveiled the monument during the city’s June 26 LGBT Pride celebration. At the unveiling, she said:
“We must work together to eradicate discrimination and homophobia. We must raise our voice for justice, and the equality of each of us who are human. We must aspire to to have a country where everyone is equal, and no one is judged for who they love.”
The monument was originally intended to commemorate the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling which legalized same-sex marriage in Puerto Rico just last year, but the island state also added a plaque listing the names of the 23 Puerto Ricans killed in the June 12 mass-shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. The plaque includes the 26 other shooting victims and a quote from a speech made by Tony-award winning Puerto Rican playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda on the night of the shooting.
Miranda’s quote says, “This tribute to life strengthens our commitment to fight hate — the product of homophobia — with love and respect. Our slogan resounds in all our hearts: Love is love, is love, is love…”
The monument, which is located at San Juan’s Sixto Escobar Stadium, was paid for by $9,000 in taxpayer money.