About three dozen individuals gathered on the Lake Merritt amphitheater on a cold Friday night time to recollect the 5 individuals who had been killed final weekend in a mass taking pictures at a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs.
Throughout the three-hour vigil, individuals, principally sporting black, listened to music — some hugging, others crying, and lots of laughing collectively, as they tried to take care of each other within the wake of continued brutality towards queer individuals in america.
“Being queer and trans in 2022 is simply residing by way of an countless wave of mindless tragedy and violence directed at us,” Bella Hangnail mentioned, as music performed within the background. “Taking the time to create space like this to course of our grief in order that we will transfer ahead is actually necessary.”
Firstly of the vigil, that message was made plain, with the gang being informed: “This house is ours.”
The images of the 5 individuals killed at Membership Q had been displayed on an altar, surrounded by flowers and candles.
“I need to stay and thrive in a queerness that’s antithetical to settler colonialism and white supremacy,” B, the vigil’s organizer — who didn’t really feel secure utilizing their full identify, given the current violence towards queer individuals — mentioned to the gang. “We now have a protracted, exhausting struggle in entrance of us. I encourage everybody to get actually good at caring for one another and ourselves.”
Honoring the 5 individuals who had been killed and the 2 dozen who had been injured was not the vigil’s solely objective. Individuals got here to honor queer individuals “from these stolen Ohlone lands to Iran and Colorado Springs and past.”
Throughout the U.S., politicians have proposed and enacted laws limiting the rights of members of the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood, and the assaults have left many queer individuals emotionally exhausted. For a lot of, the vigil was a possibility to fight that.
Bree Gaddy, an Oakland resident who works for the Nationwide Community of Abortion Funds, got here to mourn in neighborhood with different queer individuals.
“It’s been a heavy life with a variety of violence,” Gaddy mentioned. “My buddy invited me to this, and I used to be like, ‘I’m actually drained.’”
Gaddy selected to attend the vigil anyway, saying, “It’s good to only be with others and do some ritual and simply be in my physique with every part that’s been happening.”
A number of musicians participated within the vigil.Hangnail performed guitar and sang “8 Full Hours of Sleep” by the punk band Towards Me!.
“Tomorrow, America simply may crumble,” she sang, as the gang shouted the lyrics along with her.
“Let the brand new night time convey you peace
And the promise of tomorrow.”
Off to the aspect, a pair, sitting on the pavement, took swigs from a flask, checked out each other, and embraced, holding each other because the music continued.
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