“We Will Not Give In To Fear.” Faulconer

“Why has our global LGBT community. family, people, why are we always the focus of hate, violence, attacks and murder”

Nicole Murray Ramirez

June 14, 2016 (San Diego) Over 1500 people came out in San Diego for the vigil for Orlando. The mass shooting has left 53 people injured, and 50 dead, including the shooter. This was an attack done in a safe space for LGBT, a bar, the Pulse club in Orlando.

San Diegans, civic leaders and regular people, came out to join Orlando, and each other. It was an emotional night, that started at the LGBT Center in Hillcrest, which was packed to capacity, 600 people. Reporting San Diego was able to talk to former Chula Vista major Steve Padilla (who came out while in office.)

He told Reporting San Diego that what happened “Is horrifying, it is heart breaking. To see the darker angels prevail on a young man’s heart and mind and twist it, to the point that he could stop looking into those other people’s eyes and see a beating heart, to see a soul, to see a precious life, and instead be filled with hatred.”

He also added that the response from San Diegans, and the LGBT community has been “love. When I look around and I see people here who can see into each other’s eyes and they can see a soul, they can see a heart, they can feel love for one another. And in times like this we come together. Not just as members of the LGBT community, but of the broader community.”

Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins told Reporting San Diego that the community “feels great pain and devastation. It shouldn’t happen in any community. And of course, it is not unfamiliar to us. But in this day and time we see it happening in churches, in schools and theaters, and even on military bases.”

She added, “our community is here because we always come together. For the good moments, the happy times, and for the devastating ones, and unfortunately today is devastating.”

The victims were in their twenties, “an 18 year old, a 19 year old, and a 49 year old mother, who would go on dates out with her son. Mother of 11, these are heart wrenching stories, our community is saying no more.”

The event itself stated with son, from the Gay Men’s Choir and then community leaders spoke, Mayor Kevin Falconer who remarked at how full the room was, and the hundreds in the overflow crowd, outside, and more doming, “So often we come together in this room. to celebrate milestones, marriage equality, raising the pride flag, and growing the pride parade that has become one of the largest civic events that we have in the year right here in San Diego.”

He remarked how last year’s Pride was met by thunder and rain, and it still went on. Not even the weather could stop it. It was a freak July storm. He also said that “many who chose to be here tonight, are having rather painful emotions. 48 hours ago, few of us would have thought that something like leaving your house, coming to a vigil, with friends and family, or going to a night club could be a difficult choice. But here we are, together. Becuase your small decision to be here tonight, sends a big message. We will not give in to fear.”

San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez asked from the Dais a powerful question: “Why has our global LGBT community. family, people, why are we always the focus of hate, violence, attacks and murder” She added, that over the entire history of the community, “we have always been terrorized by others.”

“Why? “We have always been the most caring, compassionate, and non violent people on this earth.” She then added, a message to the world and America, “ you will never ever kill our people, and our community soul and spirit. You will never silence our voices. And we are never, ever going back into those dark closest.”

He had some words for Donald Trump. “It is time for you to shut the fuck up.” This came with both applause and boos from the crowd, He also had a message for ISIS, who has been killing LGBT members in areas it occupies. These were words of defiance.
Council Member Todd Gloria, who is termed out, and will be replaced by Chris Ward in the Council, told people to go out to the clubs. Not to go home, and never to go back into those closest.He also said, “we are going to make sure that our voices, our presence is known. And I guess that is what is hard about now. Becuase for too long, for too many of us we grew up having to be silent. And we know that when efforts like this. When hate crimes like this. When terrorist attacks like this. It is about trying to shut us up. But I know something about my community. We are not quiet, are we?” He added, “We are going to make our voices heard!”

He also said, that while “this was an attack on the LGBT community, it was an attack on all Americans. It bears noting that it happened at the Pulse Nightclub on Latino night.” So he remarked that this was an attack on Latinos as well, his other community.

Gloria went on to speak to the safety of these bars. The places that for decades people felt safe. So while that safety was shattered, he urged people to  “show up. I need you to go to our bars. I want you to go to our businesses.” He urged people not to stay in their homes. He also thanked the police, and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, for the work her men and women do day in and day out.

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At the end of the ceremony the Men’s Gay Men Chorus sang “Over the Rainbow” and then religious leaders, Cristian, Muslim, Jew, took to the state to bless the community.

The people went to the flag, where the Gay Women’s Chorus received them in song, and after that to Rich’s Bar, where a small dais was waiting. John Lennons’s Imagine was part of the sound track, but there was more of a somber moment to the event, This was the reading of the names, which was done by bar owners from the area. Rabbi Laurie Cookie said to the crowd, that today those owners where the priests of the community. Ever since Stonewall, these bars have been the safe place where the LGBT can be themselves.

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Rich’s owner also said that yesterday’s cover was going to be donated to the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando. The DJ for the night worked for the Padres and was donating his time.

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We are including the list of the names of the deceased, which were read by the owners of Gay Clubs, barely able to coning their emotions.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

 

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