A Solemn Commemoration of the Pulse Tragedy

Gays Against Guns, AVP, Voices4 gather to remember the Orlando victims

The Gays Against Guns’ Human Beings protesters carry placards remembering the 49 slain at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.
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Early last evening, Gays Against Guns, joined by activists from the New York City Anti-Violence Project and Voices4, held a silent vigil outside the Stonewall Inn and across the street at Christopher Park, the site of the federal Stonewall National Monument, to mark the third anniversary of the gun massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub that killed 49 and injured another 53 people.

In the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen entered the club, which was hosting its regular Latinx night, and opened fire. When police were finally able to move in on the crime scene, the shooter killed himself.

New York’s queer community mobilized immediately in reaction to the shootings, hosting a pair of impromptu major vigils later that same day, and the following evening a more formal vigil was held that drew leading elected officials.

Gays Against Guns emerged in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, and within two weeks had a contingent in the LGBTQ Pride March, which included their haunting Human Beings contingent that march anonymously draped in white veils and holding placards honoring gun violence victims.

Since 2016, GAG has staged innumerable direct action demonstrations targeting the National Rife Association, gun manufacturers, investors in those businesses, and politicians — here and in Washington — who support the NRA and its gun-madness agenda.

The June 12 evening demonstration in front of the Stonewall Inn.
Gays Against Guns stalwart Cathy Marino-Thomas addresses the crowd outside the Stonewall.
Eliel Cruz, communications director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.
The gay and lesbian couples in the “Gay Liberation” statues in Christopher Park share the anti-gun message.
A demonstrator asks, “When is enough enough?”
GAG’s Human Beings approach Christopher Park and the Stonewall Inn.
The Human Beings reach Christopher Park.
Adam Eli of the queer activist group Voices4 addresses the crowd.
Deonka Deidra Drayton, who died at 32 at the Pulse nightclub, is remembered.
Updated 11:25 am, June 13, 2019
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Reader feedback

darlene nation from south Village says:
Great series of photos of this solemn event commemorating a horrific tragic piece of history.
June 13, 12:05 pm
Father Lolyd Jeffers from West Village says:
Playwright Dr. Larry Myers (whose partner was killed by gunfire) has established The Playwrights Sanctuary, a theater foundation to help younger & newer writers to pen works about LGBTQIA issues. He has authored "The Marsha P. Johnson Mirror" (sanctioned by Randolf Wicker, Johnson roommate/advocate).Award winning dramatist & 40 years a university professor, Myers, is activist, acting coach & historian.
June 14, 8:04 pm

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