Atlantans gathered outside the National Center for Civil and Human Rights on Tuesday for a vigil honoring the 49 people who were killed during last weekend’s attack on the LGBT community in Orlando.
The ceremony began with a rendition of “I Am Light.” After a prayer and a moment of silence, leaders from local LGBT and Latino groups read the name and displayed photos of each victim.
Tuesday’s event was a perfect example of how members of the LGBT community and allies have come together in the aftermath. More than 20 people spoke at the vigil, including local LGBT leaders, spiritual leaders, and others. Local Muslim leaders also spoke of their solidarity with the local LGBT community.
Notable guests included the Center’s CEO, Derrek Kayongo, Simone Bell, the current regional director of Lambda Legal, Estrella Sanz, from the Georgia chapter of the National TransLatina Coalition, Rabbi Joshua Lesser of Congregation Bet Haverim, an LGBT-founded Jewish community in Atlanta, and Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality. Political leaders who are standing with the LGBT community, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, had asked Graham to speak on their behalf.
On Monday Graham spoke at length with Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE about the attack in Orlando and how the impact on Georgia’s LGBT community:
“This certainly touches home, very closely for some people, although it is an entire community of people—not just the LGBT community but our allies—that continue to be in mourning today over this massacre.”
At Georgia Unites, we are incredibly inspired by our state’s diverse community and the power that has been on display over the last couple of days by people coming together in mutual respect and common love.
If you would like to help or be involved further, Equality Florida is doing important work to support the survivors of the Pulse shooting and the family of the victims. You can donate to their GoFundMe campaign by clicking here.SHARE THIS STORY