Cornell Mourns For PULSE Victims
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Cornell Mourns For PULSE Victims

Tears streaked many cheeks in a candlelit circle on Ho Plaza.

Cornell Mourns For PULSE Victims
Kelly Crandall

A circle of people gathered on Ho Plaza before sunset, surrounding 49 squares of paper with a single name on each one, and a candle resting on top. Soft music singing gentle melodies of love and mourning played in the background as we all sat down on the still-warm cement. People of all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and genders were present to mourn the victims of the PULSE nightclub massacre. This was a circle of love, grief, and confusion, but no hate was present. The vigil was organized to mourn the victims in Orlando, and not to put more hate into a world with too much already.

Before we lit the candles in remembrance of the victims, members of the circle were encouraged to speak. One student spoke about the privileges that being at Cornell provides the LGBTQIA+ community. She said that here she is able to be herself, and not worry about what might happen if she holds her girlfriend’s hand or kisses her in public while being on campus. We spoke about how PULSE was also supposed to be a safe space for queer people; a place for people to be themselves, but that was shattered when Omar Mateen opened fire. Some expressed that this shooting is detrimental to LGBTQIA+ youth, who might have been thinking of coming out, but now may be too scared.

One student talked about how he has never been to Florida and doesn’t know a single person in Orlando, but he cried until he fell asleep after hearing about the shooting. It took him a long time to realize why he was so upset. He realized that this explosion of violence was directed at such a central part of his identity. Not a year after gay marriage was legalized and during the month of Pride, the LGBTQIA+ community has been torn apart by an assault rifle shooting 13.3 bullets per second.

As a white, cis-gendered, straight woman I’ll never be able to fully understand what my queer friends are experiencing at this moment of time. However, one student was able to help me. She explained that she made a list of every queer person she knew, and the list was a little over 100. She imagined if 49 of those people were dead, and the rest critically injured. Her life would be irreparably changed. I also thought about 49 people I couldn't live without in my life. I thought about if I had been shot, how many people would be affected, and I thought about the families of the PULSE victims.

Another straight student spoke about what being a straight ally means to her now in the wake of the shooting. She realized that she needs to take a stand against hateful behavior towards her LGBTQIA+ friends by discrediting false prejudices and standing up to hateful language used by her friends and family. Straight allies need to use their privilege to stand up for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Though the United States has made decent progress in achieving equal rights for any and all peoples, the fight is far from over. Until people can go to nightclubs to dance, kiss in public, practice their faith, and be wholly and truly themselves, the fight is not over. As one student said at the vigil, if we are not actively fighting for what is right, we are merely being complacent in the oppression of others.

As we lit 49 candles and read 49 names, I hope that I never gather on Ho Plaza to mourn the senseless slaughter of innocent people again. I hope that the violence and hate will stop. In the wake of Orlando, I hope that the LGBTQIA+ community will be proud of who they are and hold their heads high.

As the vigil ended, the most brilliant sunset of the Ithaca summer so far shone over the slope and I remembered one very important thing. Life is gift that should be treasured above all else.

Peace and love.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me

This one's for you, Spock.

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me
Liz Abere

Owning a pet can get difficult and expensive. Sometimes, their vet bills cost hundreds of dollars just for one visit. On top of that, pets also need food, a wee wee pad for a dog, a litter box with litter for a cat, toys, and treats. Besides having to spend hundreds of dollars on them, they provide a great companion and are almost always there when you need to talk to someone. For the past six years, I have been the proud owner of my purebred Bengal cat named Spock. Although he's only seven years and four months old, he's taught me so much. Here's a few of the things that he has taught me.

Keep Reading...Show less

Kinder Self - Eyes

You're Your Own Best Friend

Kinder Self - Eyes

It's fun to see all of the selfies on social media, they are everywhere. I see pictures with pouty lips, duck lips and pucker lips. I see smokey eyes, huge fake lashes and nicely done nose jobs, boob jobs and butt lifts. Women working out in spandex, tiny tops and flip flops. I see tight abs and firm butts, manicured nails and toes, up dos and flowing hair. "Wow", I think to myself," I could apply tons of make-up, spend an hour on my hair, pose all day and not look like that. Maybe I need a longer stick!"

Keep Reading...Show less

Rap Songs With A Deeper Meaning

Rap is more than the F-bomb and a beat. Read what artists like Fetty, Schoolboy Q, Drake, and 2Pac can teach you.

Rap artist delivers performance on stage
Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

On the surface, rap songs may carry a surface perception of negativity. However, exploring their lyrics reveals profound hidden depth.Despite occasional profanity, it's crucial to look beyond it. Rap transcends mere wordplay; these 25 song lyrics impart valuable life lessons, offering insights that extend beyond the conventional perception of rap music.

Keep Reading...Show less

21 Drinks For Your 21st Birthday

Maybe don't try them all in one day...

21 Drinks For Your 21st Birthday

My 21st birthday is finally almost here. In honor of finally turning 21, I thought I'd share 21 fun drinks since it's finally legal for me to drink them.

Some of these drinks are basic, but some of them are a little more interesting. I thought they all looked pretty good and worth trying, so choose your favorites to enjoy at your big birthday bash!

Keep Reading...Show less

Ancient Roman Kings: 7 Leaders of Early Rome

The names and dates of the reigns of the first four kings, as well as the alternation of Sabin and Latin names, are more legendary than historical. The last three kings, of Etruscan origin, have an existence which seems less uncertain.

inside ancient roman building
Photo by Chad Greiter on Unsplash

It is evident that all this is only a legend although archeology shows us little by little that these kings if they did not exist as the ancient history, describes them, have at least in the very Outlines were real as chief of a shepherd’s tribe. The period when kings ruled Rome could estimate at 245 years.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments