On Sunday (12th June), at least 50 people were killed in the deadliest mass shooting in US history at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The unexpected tragedy left the world angry, confused, and speechless as it is believed to be a “hate attack” on the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. While many people continue to mourn the innocent lives lost in the massacre quietly via candlelight tributes and social media, thousands of American gay rights activists gathered together at various vigils in several cities.
The events were a mixture of mourning and strength. Various celebrities showed up to show their support and to speak on behalf of the LGBT community.
In Los Angeles, Lady Gaga helped read the names of the victims and gave words of encouragement to the crowd. She said, “Tonight I will not allow my anger and outrage over this attack to overshadow our need to honour those who are grieving, truly, for their lost ones, lost members of the LGBT community. I hope you know that myself and so many are your allies”.
Broadway singer Tituss Burgess sang “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” as a tribute to the victims and after that, Nick Jonas also expressed his feelings on the Orlando shooting at a mass vigil in New York.
“My father, a minister from New Jersey, shaped my view that love is love, that we are all equal. That no matter who you are, or where you’re from, or where you’re going in life, you have the right to love and be loved,” said the former Jonas Brothers member.
Meanwhile in Antwerp, Belgium, British singer Adele opened her concert on a somber note and dedicated the show to the victims. During her stage intro, the 25-year-old singer fought back her tears when she delivered her speech.
“The LGBTQA community, they’re like my soulmates since I was really young, so I’m really moved by it. I don’t know why I’m crying already because most of tonight is pretty miserable because my songs are f—ing miserable,” said the star.
The gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, started the mass shooting slightly after 2am during Pulse Orlando’s “Latin Flavour” event. An estimated amount of 300 people were in the club, with 39 of them pronounced dead at the scene.
Our prayers go out to the victims’ family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time.