This article has been updated to include the news that shirts with the illustration are now available, with all proceeds going to the victims of the Orlando shooting.
In the wake of the Orlando tragedy, where 49 people were killed at gay nightclub Pulse in the biggest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, the creator of superheroine La Borinqueña, introduced an illustration where the Afro-Latina is honoring the LGBTQ+ victims, most of whom were Puerto Rican.
In the powerful comic, which was illustrated by Dennis Calero and offered exclusively to Latina, the beautiful heroine is seen holding the Puerto Rican flag, but its red and white stripes are changed to the colors of the LGBT movement’s rainbow bandera. Below La Borinqueña are the words “Unidos Con Orlando” (“United With Orlando”).
Miranda-Rodriguez created the superhero this year as a symbol of hope for Puerto Ricans, who are currently facing a $72 billion debt crisis, a healthcare disaster and a myriad of other troubles that are directly related to the U.S. territory’s colonial status.
For him, a Puerto Rican from Brooklyn, New York, the Orlando massacre is also a Puerto Rican issue.
“I look at this and if more than half were Puerto Rican, it's something that affected the community – it’s an LGBT issue, a Puerto Rican issue and a Latinx issue,” Miranda-Rodriguez, a Marvel Comics writer, told Latina.
He’s right. Victims of the tragedy in Orlando on early Sunday morning were 90 percent Latinx, and more than half were Puerto Rican.
Understanding the power of the arts, Miranda-Rodriguez hopes La Borinqueña’s latest illustration can be a way to remember the victims and support the survivors.
“My heart is heavy right now, and I know that there's nothing that could be said that can make people feel better about this pain, this violence that we were affected with. But know that together we can overcome this,” he said.
On Friday, Miranda-Rodriguez announced that the illustration has been printed on t-shirts that are currently on sale, with its proceeds going to the victims of the massacre.
Show up for the LGBTQ+ community, Latinxs and Puerto Ricans by sharing the reverential, and stunning, illustration and buying one of the beautiful tees.