HOLLYWOOD—I woke up last Sunday saddened and disturbed by the violence in Orlando, Florida. The grief and inhumanity have touched so many of us that these words will never capture. The targeted attack on the Pulse nightclub makes this a difficult time for so many people all over the world who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
It’s at times like these that remind me- and hopefully all of you- how important it is to express deep, unconditional care and love for one another. Suddenly, the rainbow flag has symbolism solidarity and peace. A frequently cited hypothesis links the rainbow to the resplendent aura of the late actress Judy Garland, long considered a gay icon (her role in the film the Wizard of Oz has yielded the colloquial slang-phrase “friend of Dorothy” as a term for a gay man), and to her famous performance of the song Over the Rainbow.
Many writers have noted that strong bright colors (such as the green carnation Oscar Wilde wore to signify his sexual orientation) have for centuries served as shorthand for homosexuality. Other writers have noted that strong bright colors rationale the rainbow color, saying “its from the sky, it’s a natural flag.” Each color has a symbolic meaning red (which stood for life), then orange, (for healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), royal blue (serenity), and violet (spirit).
Lady Gaga led a vigil for the victims on June 13 at a Los Angeles vigil. Speaking to the crowd of thousands who gathered at LA’s City Hall, the singer read off the names and ages of the 49 people who were killed during the attack at Pulse nightclub, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The singer fought back tears as she passionately addressed the crowd. Gaga was joined by speakers who represented the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Bienestar Human Services, the Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council and the Latino Equality Alliance.
The vigil was one of many held around the country. In New York, thousands gathered around the famed Stonewall, a gay rights landmark, where New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio spoke to the crowd. She took to social media to tweet, “It’s a traumatizing and emotional time for many people. I dream of the world reflecting on what we can do to change the violence.”
Stars continue to react on social media to the tragic shooting at the gay nightclub, which left 50 people dead on June 12. A number of gay celebrities have supported the LGBT community and victims, including Ricky Martin and Canadian actress Ellen Page. Author J.K. Rowling expressed her grief by posting that one of the victims Luis Vielma worked on a Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios. She posted on Twitter, “He was 22 years old. I can’t stop crying.”
Other celebrities that turned to Twitter included gay icon Boy George, who tweeted he was feeling “unconsolable sadness,” while former N’Sync star Lance Bass expressed his support for his “gay brothers and sisters.”
Singer Ariana Grande wrote: “How can one have so much hate? My heart is broken. Praying for the families of the Orlando victims. I am so sorry!” Singer John Legend asked, “When will we do something to prevent these killing sprees?” And Josh Groban added: “When does it end?”
Singer Adam Lambert at the Isle of Wight festival 2016 dedicated along with Queen the song Who Wants to Lie Forever to the victims. An emotional Lambert introduced the track, saying: “This song is dedicated to those who lost their lives in Orlando, Florida, and anyone who has been a victim of senseless violence or hatred.”
Actress Minnie Driver wrote: “No words for more senseless killing. Love to all the families suffering today.” Actor Seth MacFarlane tweeted: “These shootings are a regular occurrence. You don’t get to be “shocked” anymore unless you take action to stop them. Ban automatic weapons.”
Rose’s Scoop: This column is dedicated to the memory of the victims of Pulse nightclub.