Birmingham LGBT statement on the attack on the LGBT community in Orlando.
In what has been described as the worst mass shooting in modern American history, in the early hours of Sunday morning a gunman killed 50 people and wounded 53 others in Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. This was an attack motivated by homophobic hate that will be felt by all members of the LGBT community throughout the world.
Birmingham LGBT recognises the sadness and fear that many members of our community will be feeling today. Our bars and clubs have been a place of refuge for many of us who grew up in a heteronormative and hostile world; a place where we came together to find our community.
Historically June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate our achievements, culture and shared history. It is only weeks since Birmingham Pride, when we celebrated the advances our community has made in a global struggle for human rights. What happened in Orlando stands as a stark reminder that we still have a long way to go.
As we send our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family and friends of people affected in Orlando we also stand in solidarity with members of the LGBT community in America and around the world. We urge members of the LGBT community throughout the world to be vigilant, to stand together and to be proud of who they are.
At moments like this it is important that as a community we come together. This Saturday afternoon (18th) Birmingham LGBT will also be holding a vigil to honour the lives of the victims of this attack. We will meet at 1pm at the Birmingham LGBT Centre and (weather permitting) head to the Pagoda Island where Director of Birmingham LGBT Steph Keeble will speak. Anyone wishing to attend is welcome and encouraged to bring a candle with them.
Also, tonight (Monday 13th June) in the Gay Village a vigil will be held at 10pm in support, love & respect for all those people who sadly lost their lives in Orlando. The aim is for all the venues and its customers to come outside of their venues at 10pm.