Last night I had the privilege to be part of a community gathering on campus in the NUSA office. Barrie Shannon organised a candlelight vigil in memory of the loss of life in the Orlando Pulse Nightclub last weekend. Seeing so many people come together to not only reflect on the loss of life and the mourn for those lost but to support one another and the LGBTI community, gave me hope. Hope that as a community we can come together as one to send messages of love and compassion rather than those of hate and anger. Hope that together we can share our thoughts and feelings over this loss and become stronger as individuals and a community.
There is no doubt that this loss was felt across the globe and that there have been outpourings of emotions, some of sadness, shock, anger and fear. We continue to search for an answer of “why” to try and make sense of what happened and to find some comfort and a safe way to express our grief. For some people the answer will help but for others it will not. Others will be helped through helping in a practical way, like giving blood, or attending a vigil like last night. Some will find comfort in sharing how they feel with someone they trust. Do these things that help, but also ask yourself “what can I do to help?” “How can I help someone else who is experiencing this loss?” or “how can I help the LGBTI community overcome this loss?” These are the questions which will lead to positive change. These are the questions that will give us hope. Hope that this won’t happen again. Hope that love and acceptance will win. Hope that while we may be experiencing loss, not all is lost.
*For those of you who missed the vigil at NUSA last night there is a vigil being held tonight Friday 17th June at the Adamstown Uniting Church on Glebe Road.