In addition to those that spoke at the Plymouth Stands with Orlando Vigil, we received the following messages of support unfortunately there was not enough time to read them out at the vigil.
‘The timelessness in you is aware of life’s timelessness, and knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.’
We must all remain dreamers, especially in the face of inequality and even hatred. We are full of hope that one day all love will be seen as equal.
From ‘The Prophet’ by Kahil Gibran
Professor Cara Aitchison Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive
University of St Mark and St John
The slaughter of innocent men and women in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was deeply shocking. Religious attacks and homophobic attacks should never be allowed as they are an attack on human and civil rights. I’m pleased that the City Council, as the home of Mayflower 400, and as a friend of our closest ally, has opened a book of condolence for all Plymothians to sign expressing our City’s horror and sympathy to the families of the victims. For too long the LGBT community around the world has been marginalised and this attack has shown how much further we have in the fight for equality. Love is love and we should never forget that.
Oliver Colvile, Member of Parliament
for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
We watched the news of Orlando unfold with desperate sadness – it brought a sick feeling to the stomach for many people all over the world. But for the LGBT community in particular, it brought for us a sadness so profound, a feeling of fragility and vulnerability, a fear that we may be losing those very things we had fought so had to achieve – to be able to live our lives without fear, and without hate. As we saw the faces of those who had been killed, we felt a personal grief and deep sense of waste.
But the doubt, the apprehension, the anxiety and uncertainty is temporary. LGBT people everywhere, together with their friends, families and supporters, will be strong in the face of this atrocity. We refuse to be fearful. We refuse to remain silent about who we are. We will continue to play our part in everyday society – as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, partners, lovers, mothers and fathers – and we will seek to enrich the world we live in.
Tonight we may be tearful. We may be angry. But we will honour and remember those who were killed by being strong, by being confident, by being determined in our belief that tolerance and respect for all is at the root of civilised values. Tonight – here in Plymouth – we demonstrate that … profoundly and with dignity.
Professor David Coslett,
Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Plymouth University