More than 24 hours after a man broke into an LGBT nightclub in downtown Orlando with an AR-15-like semiautomatic rifle, a handgun and overloads of ammunition, the identities of some of the 49 victims who died are beginning to come afloat.
"As we mourn, we stand with a community shaken, and we process countless emotions—sorrow, rage, fear, all of them valid, all of them too common in the lives of the LGBT community. We have witnessed an act of hate whose savagery goes beyond understanding," says a SAGA media statement. "Sadly, this is but an extreme version of the anti-LGBT animosity that is not only common, but entirely too accepted by our society, from state houses to the streets. This is the reality for queer identities, a reality that lads us to mourn today, but will also lead us to stand united, and forever fight to eradicate hate in all its forms."
Last night, hundreds of Tucsonans participated in a candlelight vigil on Fourth Avenue to honor the victims and to protest gun violence, as well as hate crimes against LGBT people.