Culture

New York Gathers at Historic Stonewall Inn to Honor Orlando Shooting Victims

Culture

New York Gathers at Historic Stonewall Inn to Honor Orlando Shooting Victims

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Photography: Luis Nieto Dickens

Last night, New Yorkers gathered outside Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn for a vigil to mourn the victims of this weekend’s Orlando shooting, leaving 49 dead and 53 wounded. Thousands crowded together on Christopher St. to pay their respects, as Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Tituss Burgess and Nick Jonas, among others, voiced support for victims and their families.

During the speeches, which spanned several hours, the crowd repeatedly chanted in unison, “No more scripts,” and, “Say their names,” in a call to make the vigil centered less on pushing politics and more on empowering the LGBTQ community. Many of the mourners were especially angered by the event organizers’ decision to include Jonas, a white straight cisgender male, as one of the featured speakers.

The community joined together to show solidarity, lighting candles and holding signs that read, “NRA=Death,” and “Queers Against Islamophobia.” While Stonewall may represent the movement’s historic achievements, the tragedy in Florida, now the largest mass shooting in American history, is a reminder of the progress yet to be made. But best summed up by Ken Kidd, an organizer with Queer Nation, “We are a community that will never be silenced again.”