Photo Gallery: San Jose’s LGBTQ Community, Allies Hold Vigil for Orlando Terror Attack Victims

More than a hundred people gathered Monday night at San Jose City Hall for a candlelight vigil to honor victims of the Orlando terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub.

LGBTQ communities across the country were shaken by Sunday’s mass shooting, which left 49 dead and even more wounded.

Rainbow flags billowed in the wind Monday as people lit candles, spoke on a makeshift stage and wrote their thoughts and reflections about the tragedy on a banner.

Among the attendees were elected officials such as Mayor Sam Liccardo, county Supervisor Ken Yeager and council members Chappie Jones, Raul Peralez, Magdalena Carrasco, Tam Nguyen and Johnny Khamis.

The vigil’s invocation was made by Nancy Palmer Jones, senior minister of the First Unitarian Church San Jose.

“I feel absolutely horrible about it, it’s just heartbreaking and devastating,” Jones said. “It affects so many people, not just the LGBTQ community but also the Latino community because it was Latin night at Pulse, and the Muslim community because there’s likely to be backlash and blame which is not deserved.”

Maribel Martinez, manager of the county’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, hosted the vigil in collaboration with Councilman Ash Kalra.

“We need to keep coming together as a community, because when one of us is hurting we are all hurting and we share in that grief together,” Martinez said.

In addition to the vigil, a march took place through downtown.

Like others, Mayor Liccardo tried to make sense of the tragedy and offered thoughts on how to move forward.

“This is our opportunity to help lift our community and lift Orlando beyond the pain, beyond the horrid violence into a much more promising future,” he said.

Kalra spoke about his hope to have the community come together at a time like this, as well as his gratitude for living in such an accepting community.

Supervisor Yeager, who was the first openly gay elected official in San Jose and Santa Clara County, expressed his shock and dismay over the massacre.

“I know that all of us have been struggling for so many years, and I think of all the progress that we made,” Yeager said. “I think that was a kick in the gut for all of us and, I think, it has made us more determined to fight back—because we have to.”

Rodrigo Garcia, an advocate for the local LGBTQ community, noted that the attack should be viewed in a variety of contexts.

“Conservative politicians call this an act of terrorism against people and avoid saying that those people were LGBTQ brown and black people,” he said.

Below is a photo gallery of Monday’s vigil. All photographs by Greg Ramar.

 

4 Comments

  1. Daphne,
    You just had to take a swipe at conservatives politicians.

    Conservatives have been standing on on their heads trying to point out to you you blockheads liberals and the LGBTQ community, that you are hated and being targeted for death by a certain ethnic group of radical thinkers from a certain part of the world, from a certain religion of peace, that you have failed to mention on for the express purpose of being politically correct.

    It’s not Conservative Tea Party Christians.

    I dare you to say who it is!

  2. “Conservative politicians call this an act of terrorism against people and avoid saying that those people were LGBTQ brown and black people,” — Rodrigo Garcia

    Mr. Garcia believes it is now wrong — an insult, a crime, homophobia? — for a politician to describe mass murder victims as “people.” According to this self-declared authority, in order to be correct, one must first determine the unique identity of the person/group to whom one is speaking, and then use the politically-correct term of their choice.

    Well, Mr. Garcia, please explain how it could possibly be correct to describe the Pulse shooting victims as “LGBTQ brown and black people,” when it is a certainty that among the victims there were also white people, and quite likely Asians? And how can you be certain that every victim was a member of any particular community? Has it been ruled out that some of the victims were heterosexuals, perhaps workers, guests, or curios visitors? Are you, Mr. Garcia, even capable of really caring about anyone outside of your own group?

    It is highly likely that the primary force behind the attack was the perpetrator’s mental illness, which should cause any reasonable person to pause before attributing the attack to any specific motivation. Was it an act of Muslim terrorism, hatred, or something else entirely? Who can say with any degree of certainty when trying to unravel the mysteries of the deranged mind? But, of course, that does not stop every self-absorbed idiot with an agenda, or every pandering pimp of a politician, from jumping onto the closest convenient bandwagon.

    After waging a prolonged battle to win its rights from the majority, the LGBTQ community now exercises those rights trying to prove everyone else wrong.

  3. > because there’s likely to be backlash and blame which is not deserved.”

    There I go, backlashing again.

    I just got over backlashing against some other affront to civilization and common sense.

    I’m sure I need some kind of counseling, or treatment,or maybe a FEMA camp experience.