SOHO, London, United Kingdom – Thousands of LGBT activists and members of the public gathered in London’s LGBT-dominated Soho neighbourhood last night to observe a moment of silence in solidarity with the victims of the Orlando terrorist attack.
What was billed as a sombre gathering soon turned – in the words of attendees – into a “celebration… a precursor to Pride”.
The alcohol flowed, the music played, and someone even brought bubble machines to instil an atmosphere of defiance rather than sadness.
The scenes were somewhat different to the vigils held in the past for previous terror attacks. The Paris attacks saw a more sombre mood strike the British capital, whereas the Orlando attacks appear to have attracted more upbeat campaigners.
While fear was certainly present – with attendees telling Breitbart London that some people were even scared to attend in Old Compton Street last night – there was also an insistence on attacking what some saw as political status quos.
One sign read: “You politicise our toilets. You politicise our love. You politicise our lives. You can’t depoliticise our deaths”.
Another said: “Queer lives matter. Latinx lives matter. Trans* lives matter. Muslim lives matter. But saying “all lives matter” erases each unique heartbreak”.
Attendees included London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a number of Members of Parliament, and Owen Jones, the columnist who stormed off television after demanding more news coverage for LGBT people.
Pictures by Rachel Megawhat