Lin-Manuel Miranda And Jennifer Lopez Are Recording A Song For Orlando Victims
Just when we think Lin-Manuel Miranda couldn’t get any cooler, he finds a way to prove us wrong. On Monday, it was announced that Miranda and Jennifer Lopez are teaming up on an original song to benefit victims of the Orlando shooting. All proceeds from the song, entitled Love Make the World Go Round, will go to the Hispanic Federation’s Proyecto Somos Orlando, which is providing support to victims in the wake of the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, as more than 90 percent were Latino.
According to a statement on their website, Proyecto Somos Orlando seeks to offer “emergency assistance” to survivors and their families, as well as “case management, crisis intervention,” and “culturally competent and bilingual” mental health services. Given the American healthcare industry’s discrimination against LGBTQ people and against the Latino community, getting funding to these services is extremely important.
Lopez hinted at her collaboration with the Hamilton creator on Instagram several days ago by posting a selfie with Miranda and the hashtags “#loveisloveisloveisloveisloveislove,” “#LoveMaketheWorldGoRound,” and “#JLin.” A release date for the song hasn’t been given yet, but you can hear a sample in this 30-second teaser video that Lopez and Miranda tweeted:
Love Make the World Go Round is the latest in Miranda’s public acts of support for the Orlando victims and survivors, which include the sonnet he read at the Tony’s and joining a host of Broadway stars to record a charity cover of What the World Needs Now Is Love.
It’s hard to find a negative angle on this, but despite my admiration for both Miranda and Lopez’s bodies of work, I’m going to deliver. There’s a lyric in the teaser video about not “tak[ing] our pride away,” and neither Miranda nor Lopez openly identify as LGBTQ. While the Orlando shooting was an attack on the Latino community as well as the LGBTQ community, it directly targeted people who identified as both, so why not give an LGBTQ Latino/Latina/Latin non-binary singer or musician a voice on the song? The most powerful statement against discrimination is for its targets to have their messages heard.
This isn’t to say Miranda and Lopez shouldn’t use their celebrity to support this cause, but when the less marginalized speak (or sing, or rap) in favor of the marginalized without foregrounding their voices, it can look more like speaking over them — which is what mainstream society does to justify discrimination. Let’s hope their future efforts give LGBTQ Latinos a place to speak for themselves.