12 Beautiful Tributes to Love & Equality a Year After the Orlando Massacre
"Love is love is love."
The largest mass shooting in modern US history happened a year ago today when 49 men and women were killed in a gay nightclub in Orlando.
The Pulse nightclub atrocity came at a time when the rights and place of LGBTQ in America seemed more secure than ever. But in one swift, homophobic rampage, that sense of belonging was once again haunted by the history of what it has meant to be gay or trans or other in America.
It was only a year before, after all, that gay couples were granted marriage equality by the Supreme Court and it was a little more than a decade after homosexuality was no longer considered illegal across the country.
Even so, LGBTQ people are harassed, attacked, and discriminated against every day. The Orlando massacre was a horrific and extreme outburst of this daily reality.
But despite the seemingly endless struggle for equality, the world once again saw the astonishing resilience of the LGBTQ community following the tragedy. An enormous outpouring of love and support that continues to this day sprang up.
As playwright/actor/director Lin-Manuel Miranda said at the Tony Awards last year following the massacre, "Love is love is love is love is love, and love cannot be killed or swept aside. Fill the world with music, love and pride."
The city of Orlando declared June 12 “Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness” and, coincidentally, the day is also “Loving Day” to commemorate the striking down of legalized racial discrimination.
While the pain caused by the massacre might never be fully repaired, the world is coming together to show unity and, ultimately, that hate and bigotry cannot be allowed to triumph over love.
Here are 12 tributes to the Orlando massacre on its one-year anniversary: