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LGBT Center holds vigil of solidarity for Orlando nightclub shooting

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The Ohio University LGBT Center held a vigil of solidarity and remembrance Monday night to honor those who lost their lives in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12.

delfin bautista,* director of the LGBT Center, urged attendees to “recognize their commonalities.”

“If we feel our wrists, our necks, our bodies, we all have a pulse,” bautista said.

 

Photo by Kati Holland
Photo by Kati Holland

The crowd gathered around the Civil War monument on College Green, both joyful with acceptance and silent with mourning. The rainbow pride flag fluttered above the crowd, draped across shoulders and twirled on umbrellas, bearing testament to the stories told.

Faculty and staff from the university gave their support to the LGBT community, including Paul Patton, assistant professor of anthropology, who urged attendees to respond with “love and dignity,” and Alicia Chavira-Prado, special assistant to the vice provost for diversity and inclusion.

“The respect for the rights of others is peace,” Chavira-Prado said, translating a quote from former Mexican President Benito Juarez.

Photo by Kati Holland
Photo by Kati Holland

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson affirmed the City of Athens and its community as a place of inclusion and acceptance.

Evan Young, campus minister of United Campus Ministry, concluded the vigil with a song and a prayer.

“Look around you and really see the people who came here today,” he said. “They came here for you, just as you came here for them…This is the change I wish to see in the world.”

Photo by Kati Holland
Photo by Kati Holland

*Editor’s note: delfin bautista prefers to use they/them and not capitalize their name.

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