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The tragic 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando made it the most publicized gay bar in the world. The massacre there inspired an outpouring of reflections on why gay bars matter and celebrations of Latin nights specifically. These commentaries often negotiated between local specificity and generalizable tendencies; between the promise of liberation and the ongoing practices of violence and exclusion; between documentable facts, personal experiences, and queer speculation; and between past, present, and the persistent beat of the dancefloor. Gay bars, in real life and in popular imagination, continue to mediate how queer people define themselves, where they find their people, and how they make sense of queer cultures and politics in their full complexities and ambivalences.

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