A shooting in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning left 50 people dead and dozens more injured. The mass shooting, the largest in modern US history, took place at the gay nightclub Pulse and appears to be an act of terror against LGBTQ people. The horrific mass murder coincides with many cities' celebration of pride, and the tragedy has hugely marred what is usually a time of joy and fearlessness for the LGBTQ community. That's not to say you can't still go show your support and attend events such as Philly Pride, however.
The first pride parade was held in New York in 1970 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a celebration of acceptance and openness. Philadelphia's 28th pride parade and festival was scheduled for Sunday, and it has not been cancelled because of the shooting. While the event's Facebook page did not make reference to the tragedy, it did announce the event's intention "to make today's parade and festival the best ever" on Sunday morning. Because of the shooting, there is an increased Philadelphia police presence, and thousands have already gathered for the parade, which started at 11:30 EST.
For some who might have planned to attend the parade but are grief-stricken or scared, attending a pride parade might feel like too much, too soon, and that's perfectly understandable. However, those who live in the Philadelphia area and feel the desire to show their support for the LGBTQ community in the wake of this horrible tragedy should consider attending the festival in an act of solidarity.
If you are interested in attending, the pride festival is located at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, and wristbands are $15. The festival's website suggests taking public transportation, and warns against bringing a backpack for security reasons. Before the festival ends at 6PM, you can catch plenty of entertainment from musical guests like Deborah Cox to belly dance performances. For those who aren't able to attend, there are lots of upcoming pride events in the month of June happening all over the country, most of which can be found here.