In light of the recent tragedy concerning the massacre of 50 individuals at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Halifax Pride, like a number of Pride organizations around the world, held a candlelit vigil as a show of support, solidarity, and love. The vigil, which was held Monday night, was incredibly moving, with well over 1,500 LGBTQ+ community members and their allies in attendance.
(Photo cred: Stoo Metz)
Karina Furlan, a member of this Grove as well as the Halifax Pride Board of Directors, provided the following statements in a short interview, pre-vigil, with Halifolks:
“We’re all reacting to a big shock. We all already know that there’s hate out there towards us and there’s acts of violence towards members of our community every day, but something of this scale… I mean, just look at all of the people here today. In one day, hundreds and hundreds of people have rallied together to come out and be here to acknowledge what’s happened.
“Safe spaces are already kind of too few and far between in the LGBT community. I don’t even mean ‘spaces’ in the sense of physical places, but even existing in day-to-day life and being out is a big deal for a lot of people. So going to a place like a gay bar, where you’re assuming that you’re going to be accepted by everyone… and then to have that essentially shattered. It’s devastating.
“There are vigils and events that are happening like this all across the world right now and yesterday. I hope that everyone who is here this evening is looking around and seeing all the people who are here in solidarity and support of one another. I want people to carry this sense of solidarity always, not just as a reaction to something terrible. All these people are always here; love wins, and being aware that we’re stronger together is what’s most important right now.”
The following statement was also issued from the Mother Grove:
Our hearts go out today to all of the victims, family, and friends of those in the LGBT community who lost their lives in the senseless violence that claimed 50 lives and even more injured in Orlando, Florida yesterday. We struggle to understand how hatred and violence can tear apart the fabric of a city, a state, a nation, and the larger global citizenry that we look to as members of the human community. Let us please ask the Kindreds for guidance and blessing as we send our prayers and any help that we can muster to those shattered by this human tragedy. Please include the victims and all those touched by this great loss in your prayers and offerings.
Rev. Jean (Drum) Pagano