Speechless. A word that people, not just in Florida or the United States, but all over the world are feeling today. When tragedy strikes, it’s hard to find words that mean enough or speak enough compassion, love, and comfort – when a tragedy like the one that took place in Orlando, Florida happens – words become hard to find at all.
In the early hours of June 12th, a man at Pulse Nightclub opened fire in the middle of a dancefloor and had no intention of stopping. As he shot anyone around him, the shock set in and the innocent victims tried to make an escape. Some made it out alive while others were left wounded and, unfortunately, 50 people were killed in a senseless act of violence.
It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern age U.S. history.
The shooting has been called an act of terror and a hate crime, the man’s father reported that this had nothing to do with religion, instead, it was the result of his son feeling uncomfortable after seeing two men kiss. His ‘discomfort’ made him feel entitled enough to take the lives of innocent people… it makes no sense. Regardless of what you call it, or what reasons will be revealed down the line that drove him to kill – it has undoubtedly affected every person who witnessed the aftermath, saw videos and photos of frantic friends and family members trying to find their loved ones, and made a group of people in the LGBTQ+ community who were supposed to be in the middle of a month sent to bring compassion, support, and awareness, fear that they won’t ever truly be safe.
In sympathy for the victims of the tragedy, the Empire State Building will remain dark on June 12th and other organizations are showing their support too. In a time of upset, confusion, and fear – celebrities took to social media alongside their fans and people all around the world to send love, compassion, and hope to those in the LGBTQ+ community.
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Stand strong w/ ur pride, it belongs to u. Love is opposite of hate. My sincerest mourning 4 LGBTQ's suffering 2day. I pray for gun control and a cultural revolution of kindness. For all people. We can't divide in the face of evil, we must stick together and heal each other we are brothers and sisters. #prayfororlando #orlando #kindness #stopviolence #lgbtqpride
— h (@halsey) June 12, 2016
so. much. violence. it hurts my heart. sending as much Light and love as I possibly can to anyone and everyone I can possibly reach.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 12, 2016
Some celebrities were in such a state of shock and disbelief, they could only share their condolences and express themselves as most of us – in a state of emotion and disbelief.
The tragedy in Orlando is just beyond sad. My deepest regrets to all those suffering. There are no words that suffice. I'm…stunned.
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) June 12, 2016
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) June 12, 2016
Harry Styles took to Instagram with two posts that made thousands of tweets pour out from One Direction fans, thanking the singer for his compassion and support and reminding the world how absolutely kind, beautiful, and loving he is. It’s hard to put into words how much Harry means to his fans, and how much his desire for the world to be happy inspires them, but it’s beautiful to see. The posts from him today were simple but powerful, two things Harry embodies.
With so many young people looking up to celebrities and following them on social media, attending multiple concerts, and meeting the people they idolize most – it’s important that celebrities take a moment to remind their followers, both on social media and in their day to day lives, that the only things in this world that can drive out hate and darkness are light and love. The only way to combat acts of violence and discrimination is by loving harder, more passionately, and kinder – even when that love is not first given, or given in return.
No amount of words can take away the pain felt across the world today, but the kindness of people and the multiple trending topics on Twitter about love have made it easier for young adults all over the world to find words of comfort today.
If you’re feeling like we are, spend some time in the #LoveIsLove hashtag today and know that even in the wake of terrible and selfish actions and unimaginable pain – there are people who love anyway, and if you’re feeling weak, there are people to keep you strong.
We imagine the outpour of support and love from many celebrities will only continue as the days progress, the Tony Awards took to social media a few hours ago and said they’d be honoring the LGBTQ+ community and dedicating their show to the lives lost. It’s a small gesture, but a powerful one nonetheless, taking a publicized event and making sure the message of love winning is on the forefront.
We at CelebMix are standing with Orlando, we’re standing with the LGBTQ+ community, and we are standing with the celebrities who have offered their words of support and compassion. Love is love and if you’re lucky enough to find it, the gender of the person who’s heart matches yours is unimportant. Love wins, always – even when tragedy strikes and pain feels overwhelming, love is still there, it’s the quiet whisper that says to keep trying and to keep caring, even when it seems impossible. Love overcomes – and so will we. Our hearts and prayers are with everyone who was affected by the shooting in Orlando, and it’s aftermath.