The Kansas City LGBT community held a vigil tonight in support of the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando Florida, where 50 people lost their lives and another 53 were wounded. The vigil was hosted by Like Me Lighthouse and The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project at Barney Allis Plaza.
The event began with a few words from Kansas City Mayor Shy James. The Mayor was met with applause as he said "We can't roll over on this, We can't say someone else is going to fix it. We must take control of this issue." He went on to say "if we do nothing it will happen again. Enough is Enough"
Normally, I would carry on with this story. You would all get a good 500-1000 words of my rhetoric about the importance of solidarity among the LGBT community. However, like most of you, I am at a loss for words. My heart breaks for the families of the victims of that shooting. Those people, who were targeted simply because they were gay. Who were simply having a good time with friends and loved ones. Lives with hopes and dreams. Lives that matter, All cut short by a cowardly homophobe with a gun.
The vigil was communal mourning. Each speaker, each spectator, and those of us in the press all drew strength from one another to get through it. The Kansas City Police department stood watch at the four corners of the plaza, in tactical gear and prepared to stand between us and those who wish to do us harm. To allow us to fellowship and to mourn without incident.
The strength of the LGBT community is beyond measure. Though this is the worst assault, it was not their first.
My daughter is gay. The Godfather of my children is Gay. Both I love dearly and beyond measure. I can only imagine the pain the families of the victims are going through, and it is more than I can imagine. In truth, it is more than I can bear.
Devin Young writes:
"Steps have been taken, leaps and bounds made in the fight for equality, yet the fight for tolerance, acceptance, and understanding has got a long way to go.
50 dead, 53 injured, countless scarred and left damaged. All for what? Again question, and no answer...
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, families, and survivors. No words will ease your pain or take it away, this we know, however the support will help.To the GLBT community at large, I ask be aware, be vigilant, be unintimidated and unafraid. Don't let the actions of one cause you to be afraid, be strong and be one with each other."
Truer words never spoken. You are right, Mr. Mayor. Enough is Enough. Never Again.
If you missed the vigil check out the photos below. Don't forget to click on the video at the bottom to view Massev's interview with Mayor Sly James.