Puerto Rico has erected its first LGBTQIA+ monument, featuring seven rectangular columns in the colours of the rainbow.
Designed by Alberto de la Cruz, the monument sits in San Juan’s Third Millennium Park and is also a memorial to the 49 lives lost during the gun massacre at Orlando's Pulse nightclub. Of the 49 victims massacred on June 12 at the LGBT+ nightclub, 23 were Puerto Rican, and their names are highlighted on a plaque that sits at the bottom of the piece, with the other victims names listed below.
Also engraved on the plaque is an excerpt from Puerto Rican playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Awards' speech, in Spanish: “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…”
San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín attended the unveiling of the monument on June 26 - the day of the capital city's Pride celebrations - saying that the day was about celebrating "life".
“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," she said. "We must aspire to to have a country where everyone is equal, and no one is judged for who they love.”