PHOTOS: Tributes From Around The World As Thousands Gather To Mourn Orlando Victims

Orlando vigil

Orlando, Florida vigil, June 13,2016

In the history book Mapping Gay L.A., author Moira Kenney coined the term “safe space” to refer to the gay bars of what became the LGBT-centric town of West Hollywood. These bars, sometimes owned by the American Mafia, scoffed at Prohibition laws of the 1920’s and 30’s and served illegal alcohol to customers engaged in illegal behavior of fraternizing with members of the same sex. These bars welcomed the presence of men and women who needed places to gather, and meet other people like themselves without fear the judgmental eyes of society. They were not truly safe spaces, as bar-goers endured harassment from local law enforcement, but at the time patrons were willing to risk the threat of being beaten by police in exchange for companionship.

Related: Around The World, Powerful Tributes To Pulse Victims Reaffirm Love

Nightclubs in the our community are more than just places to get a drink or dance. They are part of our community. They are a cornerstone of our culture, the places where could gather when there was no other place to go. Although it is a challenge to feel safe in a “safe space” when subjected to events like what happened at Pulse.

The mass murder in Orlando on June 12, 2o16, where over 103 people were shot, and so far 49 have died, was not just an attack on one nightclub in Orlando. It was a targeted attack, both a hate crime and an act of terrorism, trying to take down our community in a place we consider a safe space. It was an attempt to make us fearful in our own spaces, everywhere across the globe.

Related: Victims of The Massacre At Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub

We may bicker amongst ourselves, with no one even agreeing where our labels begin and end, adding an ever-streaming list of letters to the LGBTQIA moniker that melds all the various groups-within-the-group of our community. But like siblings who cannot leave a family reunion without an argument, we are nevertheless in this together.

The vigils for the people shot in Pulse show thousands of people who gathered out of grief, or anger, or simply because they didn’t know how to feel without the companionship of others.

Here are a collection of images from the gatherings…

Orlando Joe Saunders

Orlando, Florida vigil, courtesy Joe Saunders

Duke-of-Wellingto-London

London, England vigil, photo courtesy Duke of Wellington

new-orleans-neil-larrieu

New Orleans, Louisiana vigil, photo courtesy Neil Larrieu

Sister-Roma-San-Francisco-2

San Francisco, California vigil, courtesy Sister Roma

Johnny-Solomon-San-Diego

San Diego, California vigil, courtesy Johnny Solomon

Richard-Davis-New-York

New York, New York vigil, courtesy Richard Davies

calgary-mitra-grondin

Calgary, Alberta vigil, courtesy Mitra Grondin

surfside-hote-and-suites-provincetown

Provincetown, Massachusetts vigil

Fort Lauderdale Kevin Mahon

Fort Lauderdale vigil, courtesy Kev Gallagher

One Comment

  • Anonymous

    It’s too bad that 49 people lost they lives in the night club . This was total un called for. The person that did this lost his life as will. The people at the club was have a good time out. Who cares if the club was a gay place to go and have a great time. Wy did this happen. the people how was killed was only have a good time. The guy how killed them was sick. and he did this just because he seen two guys kissig ech other so what. If he did not like it than he should have just walk away from it and minded is own bussine. Do even thing that he could just change the world by shooting them that will not ceard the proumble. The crear is to understand the gay people If this is the way that they want to live so be it. You hve your live so let them have they life. how are you to say no you are god. You answer to her God and the gays have to answer to they god as will.Its not up to you to change people. Don’t like what you see just walk away from it. The guys have a life as you do. Than you