Last Monday, several hundred people – the BBC estimated 350 – gathered in front of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay to hold a vigil for the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting. Sparked by the dreadful news that hit our televisions, newspapers and web pages on Sunday morning, the vigil was organised in a matter of hours and was one of many held across the world.
The feeling in the crowd was one of pride and defiance as much as it was mourning as the assembled crowd adorned themselves with rainbows, draping themselves in the array of pride flags – gay, trans, bi, pan – usually reserved for Mardi Gras, marches, and other celebrations of our community.
In the face of this atrocity, as in the face of many others that our community has faced, we react with resistance and messages of peace and hope. It is a mark of the power and importance of our community. In every country around the world, we grieved the Orlando murders as if we had all lost 49 friends.
As many people have commented, the nightclub in which the attack took place, and others just like it across the globe, is so much more than just a place to drink and dance. These are the places in which we are free, places where we can celebrate our identities, places where we can find support and community.
As a community our strength is in the ways that we gather and in the bonds we form between ourselves. It is in this spirit that we invite you to join us, not only to sing, but to celebrate and build our community here in Cardiff.
Songbirds Choir is a non-auditioning community choir for self-defining lesbian, bisexual and trans* women in Cardiff.
We meet at 7.15 to rehearse from 7.30pm every Wednesday at City United Reformed Church on Windsor Place, Cardiff.