There are no words, only tears. There’s really nothing that can be said about this tragic event, no messages that can take back what happened, to bring back what domestic terrorism took away.
As a Canadian, still living in Canada, it was so hard to watch this tragedy unfold, and feel so helpless in the process. At first there seemed to be nothing to do but watch the news and cry. I cried over those lost lives, over those men and women with so much to give, so much to offer the world. Those who were killed and injured and who had to watch this horror unfold in front of their eyes were so much braver than I could ever be. They had a courage I’ve never been able to find, and lived and loved as themselves. In the end, that was the very reason they were hated by a terrorist with an assault weapon. The fact that an act of love could be so hated is deeply horrifying.
There truly is no way to put into words the grief I feel or the sympathy that runs through my veins. However, there is one thing I can do, and that is to continue to love. As many members of the LGBTQ+ community have said, love is the answer. We must continue loving, to commit acts of love instead of acts of hate.
Our Prime Minister offered a statement yesterday, extending our country’s support and compassion to those who were affected. A number of cities throughout Canada showed their support, by lighting up their landmarks with the rainbow, or holding vigils remembering those lives that were taken far too young.
I attended a vigil in my adopted hometown tonight and was deeply moved by the sheer number of people, both from the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, who attended. There were moving speeches, beautiful words clearly stating not only our grief and our sorrow, but also our solidarity. Each of those powerful speeches emphasized the importance of love – that as a community, as a country, as humans, we must always love.
The Canadian flag that normally flies high above city hall was lowered to half mast to mourn those lives that were lost, and to remind us all that even being countries apart, we aren’t any different. Our Member of Provincial Parliament is collecting signatures and messages of sympathy to send to the mayor of Orlando, to show our continued support and to demonstrate that we stand with the people of Orlando who were affected by this senseless act.
The vigil ended with the entire square, an entire group of people too numerous to count, singing in memory of those lost, and in support of those who live.[video width="550" height="550" mp4="http:https://pop-wrapped.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/photos/Kingston_Sings.mp4"][/video]
We will continue to love, to hope, and to celebrate joy where it can be found.