Several thousand New Yorkers gathered outside the Stonewall Inn to show their support. And to say that they are not afraid.
The reading of the names of the Orlando victims ends. In the crowd, moved, we see a few tears that flow, we embrace and we comfort each other. The wind, which rose at the beginning of the evening, seems to have given a moment of respite to the candles which hoisted themselves above the heads among the rainbow flags and the signs of homage to the 50 killed.
As in other American cities, thousands of New Yorkers gathered on Monday in the narrow streets around the Stonewall Inn, a bar symbol of the LGBT fight in the United States, to proclaim loud and clear “We are Orlando ”. Trans, gay, lesbian, queer, straight, young and old: some had come with a bouquet of flowers to drop in front of the memorial that stood in the small park across from Stonewall. Others with pieces of chalk to write the names of the victims and their ages on the ground. Leandro Rodriguez had come with the photos of two victims.
I am from Puerto Rico. like the bulk of the victims in Orlando. On Sunday, we walked in the annual New York City Puerto Ricans Parade and were celebrated for who we were. But this tragedy has shown us that there are still people who hate us.
Throughout Monday, messages of mobilization and support from American LGBT associations multiplied. Calls for vigilance too, as the annual Pride Month festivities (Pride Month) are in full swing in several major American cities. The organizers of several marches have announced that security will be increased.
We made a lot of progress to create safe spaces for LGBT people, then this slaughter happened and it feels like starting from scratch, regrets Luis, a forty-something who came with two other friends to drop a candle.
I’m not afraid, but today I’m confused, adds Peter, a 27-year-old New Yorker. I am comforted by the expressions of love, but the spills of hate on the web worry me too.
He attacked our sanctuary. Gay bars are places where we feel safe, says Dick Jefferson, who says he has been a victim of homophobic violence in the past. But it made us stronger. Many friends have taken to the streets tonight. Hopefully New York Gay Pride will be safe.
Several association leaders and politicians came to address the crowd. Among them, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who called for the 2016 New York Gay Pride Parade to be “the biggest in history” on June 26. The mayor of New York and open supporter of Hillary Clinton, Bill de Blasio, attacked political figures who “sow hatred”. Allusion to Donald Trump, who was trying just hours after the tragedy to recover it for election purposes.
After almost two hours, the compact crowd dispersed under the eyes of the many police officers mobilized for the occasion. Hugo, a young Mexican, made a promise to himself at that time:
Usually, I am a Gay Pride spectator. This year, I will participate, walk in the procession. It has a different meaning today.