The Facebook group GLBT Voices Singapore held a candlelight vigil today at Speakers’ Corner for the victims of the gay nightclub shootings in Orlando, FL. Hundreds of participants attended the event, in a show of solidarity against hate-crimes.
The following is the speech of Nicholas Lim, aka “GC”, the founder and administrator of GLBT Voices Singapore.
#WeAreOrlando Candlelight Vigil Singapore – GLBT Voices Speech 14 June 2016 :
Tonight we honour and remember the 49* victims who were slain on 12th June 2016, early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. All of you showing up here today mean a lot not just to the families of the victims, but to the many, many more LGBT victims of discrimination, prejudice and hate around the world.
In Singapore we have absolutely no protection from any form of discrimination or even possible hate crimes committed in the future. But you know what, we, the LGBT community and our allies, we are used to discrimination. We are used to persecution and hatred. And we are still here. We are resilient. We won’t be cast aside. Look around you. Everyone here is a part of a family. We are your sons, your daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and co-workers.
Tonight we hope that from this ugly tragedy, people start to realise the consequences of hate. We hope that they realise just as they have the right to their beliefs, we have the right to lead our lives free of fear, prejudice and oppression. We hope that in the aftermath of this incident, governments and world leaders would come together and agree that this can no longer happen again. We should not lose another life to mindless hate. Because the murdered victims deserve better. The LGBT community deserve better. The human race deserves better.
Tonight all of you here is a strong statement to the people who misunderstand and label us with ugly names, who wish to silence us and keep us in the shadows that hate will not win. Tonight we show that in times of tragedy, people come together in the name of love, never hate.
So as we remember the victims of the Orlando shooting at Pulse, let us also remember and share our National Pledge with the world, where we pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language, religion and hopefully someday, sexual orientation or gender identity. We hope that in the light of this tragedy, those who have hardened hearts against the LGBT community, would soften and realise we are more alike than different.
I would now like to read out the names of the 49 victims, so that we may all know them beyond just a number or a statistic. Please pardon me if I get the pronunciations wrong.
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
These are the names of the victims released so far. Tonight we honour them, their families and everyone else involved in this senseless tragedy. We hold them all in our prayers and thoughts. Thank you.
Founder, administrator of GLBT Voices Singapore
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