It's impossible to get back to feeling normal after the horrific mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 injured. The news of this tragedy has spread around the globe, and cities, and just fellow humans in general, are joining together to provide relief and support for those who have lost a loved one. In an extremely touching tribute, Lady Gaga gave a moving speech at a Los Angeles vigil for the victims, where she solidified her allegiance to the gay community and urged everyone to join her.
The shooting in Orlando hit very close to my heart. I went to college in Orlando, I have spent a night dancing at Pulse with friends, and many of my friends have been posting memorials to the beautiful souls they knew — people whose lives were cut too short. As an ally to my LGBT friends, I have always been inspired by Lady Gaga's unwavering support for the community, and she proved it once again with her beautiful words.
Through tears, Lady Gaga said,
"We mourn the tragic loss of these innocent, beautiful people. Let’s all today pledge an allegiance of love to them and to their families who are suffering so deeply. They are sons and daughters. They were fathers and mothers. They are all our brothers and our sisters... But, tonight I will not allow my anger and outrage over this attack to overshadow our need to honor those who are grieving truly for their lost ones; lost members of the LGBT community."
She then continued to provide a very powerful message of support, emphasizing the idea that everyone there is an ally for the LGBT community, and that all of the vigils and messages from around the world should trump any of the negative forces that try to steal the light from this community. She said,
"I hope you know that myself and so many are your allies. Not only me, but everyone here. We represent the compassion and the loyalty of millions of people around the world that believe in you. You are not alone, you are not alone... Tomorrow I hope that we all race thoughtfully and loudly towards solutions. But tonight, and right now, Orlando, we are united with you.
After this emotional plea, Gaga began to read out the names of the victims. This is important. The victims must be remembered as souls who had dreams, souls who loved, souls who had every right to live freely and openly.
I praise Lady Gaga for her continually using her platform to spread love and acceptance. I hope this message will only continue to grow and never be quieted, and it is up to us all to make sure that happens.