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Posts Tagged ‘Astoria Q Choir’

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Last night at 1 AM I checked the news as is my habit before bedtime, to learn that something horrific was unfolding at the Pulse dance club in Orlando, Florida.  This morning, I woke to news of 49 of my extended tribe killed and many injured.  All I could do in the afternoon was read the news and share the grieving of friends online and edit and post the photos of yesterday’s beautiful and joyous pride parade.  Back in my 20s and 30s, I frequented gay dance clubs every week. Every single time, my friends and I were well aware that to do so put us in danger from homophobic fanatics…as did just walking down the street together looking visibly gay.  We did not let that fear keep us home, and many of my best memories of those years came from the joy of dancing in community.

I read on Facebook about a vigil that would take place in Astoria in the early evening and Allan and I decided to go, even though, as always, I was sorely tempted to just stay in my garden.  (Allan’s photos from today are marked with an asterisk *.)

In the late afternoon, Devery came by to pick some strawberries and we talked for awhile about sadness and hope for the world.

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In our household, only the cats were having their usual cheerful day.

*In our household, only the cats were having their usual cheerful day.

In the evening, Allan and I went to The Garden of Surging Waves in Astoria for the vigil of memory.

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driving east along the Columbia River toward the bridge. You can see Astoria across the water.

driving east along the Columbia River toward the bridge. You can see Astoria across the water.

wildflowers on the Washington side of the bridge.

wildflowers on the Washington side of the bridge.

on our walk toward the vigil

on our walk toward the vigil

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The Garden of Surging Waves

The Garden of Surging Waves

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*a garden full of people

*a garden full of people

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The Astoria Q Choir led the singing of Over the Rainbow.

The Astoria Q Center Choir led the singing of Over the Rainbow.

Tears came because I am 61 years old and have seen the results of hatred for far too long, and because I am so moved by the local community joining together like this.

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*a circle of holding hands as the Astoria community sent love to Orlando.

*a circle of joined hands as the Astoria community sent love to Orlando.

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A young man spoke of how he had moved to Astoria from Orlando just four months ago, and this morning he had been looking for his friends on Facebook to see if any had died.

A woman spoke of how she and her wife and daughter had lived in Florida and had moved back to the Pacific Northwest because here, her daughter would grow up in a climate of acceptance; here in Cascadia, they are treated as a family.

A man spoke of how he and his partner had been on cruises with the delightful Edward Sotomayer, one of the first to be listed among the dead.

The organizers of the Pride weekend then led a walk all through downtown to tie black ribbons onto the banners that had been hung with happy anticipation a few days before.

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A different person tied the ribbon at each pole.

A different person tied the ribbon at each pole.

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* in the light

*waving to a passing car who had called out in support

*waving to a passing car who had called out in support

*a thumbs up to caring passerby

*a thumbs up to caring passerby

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a shop window decorated for Pride weekend

a shop window decorated for Pride weekend

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* Love will prevail.

* Love will prevail.

*The Shanghaied Roller Dolls were represented.

*The Shanghaied Roller Dolls were represented.

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*on the way to Marine Drive, one block north

*on the way to Marine Drive, one block north

On Marine Drive

On Marine Drive

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the final ribbon

the final ribbon

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Having eaten nothing all day but cereal and a banana in the morning, I appreciated repairing to Himani Indian Cuisine for some comfort food.

Himani Indian Cuisine

Himani Indian Cuisine

dinner at Himani

dinner at Himani

evening light on Astoria curbside garden

evening light on Astoria curbside garden

crossing the bridge to home at sunset

crossing the bridge to home at sunset

It had been a good thing to roust myself out of my garden and attend the vigil to be reminded that Love Wins.  The next day, I came upon this video from the Guardian UK that expresses that belief well.

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