Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 9:42 pm | Fair 55º


Santa Barbara Pride Community Gathers to Remember Victims of Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Groups across the country gathered Monday night on the anniversary of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida that killed 49 people

Santa Barbara held a remembrance at the Chromatic Gate Monday for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara held a remembrance at the Chromatic Gate Monday for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.  (Julia Lee / Noozhawk photo)

The Pacific Pride Foundation and Santa Barbara community gathered Monday in remembrance of the lives taken in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting a year ago.

On June 12, 2016, gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 58 others at the Pulse nightclub, and many Latino and LGBTQ individuals were among the victims. 

“We’re just taking a moment to briefly honor our dead, the people who were taken from us, and we, The Pacific Pride Foundation, the LGBTQ+ center here in town, will have a few words and have a moment to pause,” said Patrick Lyra Linier, a LGBTQ+ outreach advocate for Pacific Pride during the event at the Chromatic Gate at Cabrillo Park.

“A year ago we had a memorial, altogether had about 200 people, in De La Guerra, so this is our honoring a year later.” 

The Pulse nightclub shooting was an attack on the LGBTQ community, said Colette Schabram, executive director of the Pacific Pride Foundation. 

“This was strategic and symbolic. Pulse was a safe place, where I could go, where you could go. And dance and be with the person you wanted to be with — where you could be you, where your uniqueness was celebrated, welcomed, and held safe. And on that night as Pride night was celebrated and Latinx community in Orlando gathered, the unthinkable happened.

“All day today and into tonight, local towns and cities across the nation are holding their own gatherings. Together we are part of a national movement of remembrance, as we remember them with action. Marking this year is a pledge, that we will never forget. We will not forget the 49 lives that were brutally cut short and that so many hundreds more were affected by trauma, by survival, and by loss. This is now and forevermore a part of Pride month, as was Stonewall, as is marriage equality. This is a dynamic, complicated, proud, devastating month for LGBTQ+ people. And together we hold each other. And together we remember.” 

Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara Reverend Julia Hamilton led people in a community ritual acknowledgement and rang a gong 49 times for the 49 lives taken. 

“Everyone deserves a place of sanctuary, and unfortunately, the religious community has not always been a place of sanctuary,”  Hamilton said.

“And so safe spaces to express who we are have been created all over where people gather together for support, joy, love, and companionship. Clubs like Pulse have been sanctuaries for so many. And so not only are we honoring those who lost their lives and those who were traumatized by this event, but we’re honoring a place of sanctuary that was violated with violence. And we’re doing a work of healing to call forth a future where all of those places remain joyful, expressions of love and identity, rather than places of fear and hate.” 

Noozhawk intern Julia Lee can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

The Pacific Pride Foundation and Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara held a community gathering at the Chromatic Gate Monday. Click to view larger
The Pacific Pride Foundation and Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara held a community gathering at the Chromatic Gate Monday.  (Julia Lee / Noozhawk photo)

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