On Monday evening June 13, 2016, GMCLA participated in a well-attended, cathartic, vigil and rally for Orlando. The event brought out many politicians and members of the arts community, with an estimated crowd of over 2,000.
Speakers and performers included: Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center; Oscar De La O, President, Bienestar Human Services; Vallerie Wagner, COO, APLA Health & Wellness and former COO, Black AIDS Institute; Justine Gonzales, Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council; API Equality-LA – Maria Roman, APAIT advocate and counselor; Ari Gutiérrez Arámbula, Latino Equality Alliance Co-Founder & Advisory Board Chair; Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Founding Rabbi, Congregation Kol Ami; Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles; Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles City Council; John Perez, Speaker Emeritus of the CA Assembly; John Jude Duran, West Hollywood City Council; Richard Zaldivar, Founder and Executive Director, The Wall Las Memorias.
GMCLA began the evening by singing ‘True Colors.’ Towards the end of the vigil, Lady Gaga lent a powerful presence as she began the reading of the names of the victims of the massacre. In her words: “Tonight I gather humbly with you, as a human being in peace and sincerity, in commitment, in solidarity.” On her blog she writes: “I saw the fear and sadness in the faces of so many, but I felt comfort knowing there are millions all over the world who are not only part of the LGBT community, but are part of the straight community and so impassioned by this tragedy. You are not alone.” The evening ended with GMCLA leading the vigil’s participants in singing Holly Near’s “Singing for our Lives.”
In the wake of last week’s unconscionable attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in which the world instantly witnessed the incomprehensible loss of nearly 50 lives from the Latino LGBT community, GMCLA and Mano a Mano will dedicate next weekend’s concert – “Hear My Song” (Oye Mi Canto) – to those precious lives that were so tragically and mercilessly lost to hatred and violence, and reflect on the voices that will no longer be heard.