IT was standing room only at the Perth Cultural Centre last night as hundreds of people gathered for a candle light vigil to honour the 49 people killed in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting.
Organised by Beth Cole and Farida Iqbal to begin at 6.30pm, a crowd of about 100 had already converged at 6pm to pay their respects, some fighting back tears.
In her speech, Ms Cole said LGBT people would not let an act of violence drown out love.
“For many of us our queer-friendly spaces are sacred sanctuaries where we can be ourselves without fear,” she said.
“The online response ‘We Are Orlando’ shows us that but for our gun laws here in Australia, an attack could have happened at Connies or at The Court or any similar queer spaces across the world.
“This was a hate crime, it may have even been about self hate but we will respond with love.”
Kassandra McMahon-Winter (17) from Kinglsey said she attended the vigil “to support everyone in the community after such a horrific thing” had happened.
Her friend Jaymee Pluke (19) from Yokine said the tragedy affected everyone.
“It affects everyone because everyone in the LGBT community is family, there’s only a minority of us and we have to stick together to protect our own,” she said.
“I think that’s why tonight has been such a beautiful turnout because LGBT and those who aren’t have both come and it is amazing.
“I was horrified that something like that had happened.”