Watsonville Vigil Remembers the Victims of Orlando

SOMOS LGBT vigil in Watsonville remembers “one of the most horrific tragedies committed against the LGBT community at a gay club in Orlando, Florida.”

[ Demonstrators send their love and solidarity from Watsonville, California to Orlando, Florida and the queer community everywhere. June 13, 2016. ]

SOMOS LGBT, a community organization raising awareness on equality and acceptance for all, began in Watsonville nine years ago. On the evening of June 13, SOMOS LGBT held a vigil at Watsonville Plaza to “remember one of the most horrific tragedies committed against the LGBT community at a gay club in Orlando, Florida.”

The day before on June 12, a mass shooting occurred inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, resulting in 53 wounded and 50 dead, including the gunman, who was killed by police after a three-hour standoff.

Community members from throughout Santa Cruz County gathered in Watsonville’s historic downtown Plaza to creatively express themselves through chants, singing, and holding signs to bring awareness of the continued attacks against LGBT people in this country.

Haley Brown of Santa Cruz held a sign reading “End Hate: racism • homophobia • transphobia • islamophobia.” Brown stated they stand in solidarity with the people of Orlando and the queer community everywhere.

Haley Brown of Santa Cruz holds a sign reading "End Hate: racism, homophobia, transphobia, and islamophobia" at the Watsonville Plaza in solidarity with the people of Orlando and the queer community everywhere. Mayor Felipe Hernandez and SOMOS LGBT President María Luisa Pérez are also pictured.
Haley Brown of Santa Cruz holds a sign reading “End Hate: racism, homophobia, transphobia, and islamophobia” at the Watsonville Plaza in solidarity with the people of Orlando and the queer community everywhere. Mayor Felipe Hernandez and SOMOS LGBT President María Luisa Pérez are also pictured.

Some of the many bilingual chants included “¡Viva Orlando!”, “Don’t leave Orlando, Orlando!”, and “¡Amor y Paz!”

SOMOS LGBT will hold a vigil in the Plaza every day until Sunday from 6:30 to 7:30:

“We have to show up to the Vigil to build community, to show our support for each other, and to heal, but overall to demonstrate in actions that we don’t give in to fear in the face of terror nor hate.”

SOMOS LGBT is also organizing for the 6th annual Watsonville Pride, scheduled to take place on August 28, 2016 starting at the Plaza. Watsonville’s first annual LGBT Pride Celebration took place on August 24, 2008.

For more information contact SOMOS LGBT President María Luisa Pérez at 831-707-8435 or SOMOS LGBT Vice President Nahum Rivera at 831-319-7266. You can also visit SOMOS LGBT on Facebook for more photos and news on upcoming events.

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.