Shots ring out, and history repeats; a momentary silence shocks us still—passes between every perplexed, humane person. The loss and terror that struck Orlando, Florida and the national LGBTQ community this past Sunday in the closing hours of Pulse nightclub left 49 dead and over 50 wounded. In the wake of the U.S.’s deadliest mass shooting we are left with a massive wound. But we won’t be silenced.
Such was the response of the Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus after hearing of the news hours after a Portland performance Saturday evening. In anger, in hope, in solidarity and in anguish, the chorus’ response was to sing on, performing “CELEBRATE LIFE” that very Sunday at the Unitarian Universal Fellowship in Corvallis.
Such grisly hate crimes and acts of violence may shake us, but in shared support and compassion we rise. We refuse. The breadth of human beauty coalesces in our collective voice, composed of complex individuals, each with unique histories and desires. May we continue to rise up and speak out in support and in memory of those terrorized and afflicted, and may we let said impact strengthen our ties.
By Stevie Beisswanger