#WeAreOrlando - Solidarity with those lost and injured in terror attack #OnePulse #LoveWins
Such a sad few days since news of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub broke on Sunday. The worst terror attack on US soil since 9/11, the worst gun crime in US history, and perhaps the largest murder of LGBT people since the Holocaust. How do we respond in the face of such horror?
We have shared on the Open Table Liverpool Facebook page a range of responses, including our own:
Pray for the victims, the attacker (also killed), and especially those who will judge this incident with homophobia, islamophobia and racism not compassion.
Some Church leaders have issued responses - Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church Michael Curry recorded a video offering prayers for the victims of the Orlando, recognising the significance of this event as part of the struggle for equal civil rights for all people. The Vatican released a statement from Pope Francis which was criticised for not acknowledging the LGBT identities of the victims. The Church of England at first recycled its prayer for Paris and Lahore, then the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued a joint statement which, while it did acknowledge that LGBTI people were the victims of this brutal incident, was criticised for not going far enough in acknowledging the role of Christian communities in contributing to (and challenging) homophobia. The leaders of the UK Methodist Conference issued a powerful statement expressing solidarity with the LGBTI community and apologising for an earlier statement that did not go far enough. Meanwhile the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross wrote on Twitter:
Our prayers are shallow, an affront even, as long as so much religion fails fully to affirm and include LGBT people.
Revd Rachel Mann, a trans vicar at Manchester Cathedral, shared this beautiful prayer, which we will pray together when we meet at St Bride's next Sunday.
It was moving to see so many people take to the streets of Orlando, London, Liverpool, and other cities in solidarity with the victims, survivors, and the LGBT community worldwide as this event highlights our vulnerability in a world which struggles to accept our diversity.
One of the responses we found most moving was this tweet:
Trust me when I say that even your bravest, most confident, most fine-seeming LGBT loved one badly needs to hear you say "you matter to me."
We can honestly say that each and every one of you matter to us. We want you to know that, if you were in any doubt. It has emerged that the Orlando attacker may have been a gay man ashamed of his sexuality because of his understanding of religion. We pray that out of this tragedy may come greater awareness of the damage of stigma and prejudice and the power of love, especially love between LGBT people.
But the simplest and most profound response we have seen was this meme, referencing the name of the nightclub, Pulse, so called in memory of the owner's brother who died from AIDS.
All of humanity shares #OnePulse
While it is vital to celebrate our diversity and difference, it's also important at times like this to remember that we have more in common with the rest of humanity that what sets us apart.
Let's come together in compassion and keep striving to ensure #LoveWins.
Read on for details of what's happening in Liverpool's LGBT community and beyond this month. Thank you for your support.
Warren & Kieran, LGBT Ministry Facilitators