Calgary

Orlando attack rattles Albertans and drives home importance of pride

There's a helplessness and grief that sweeps over people when they view tragedy from afar — an emptiness in the pit of the stomach that makes them want to reach out and connect.

Coming on the last day of Edmonton Pride, reaction streams in across Alberta to deadly shooting

Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse nightclub, where people were killed by a gunman. (Steve Nesius/Reuters)

There's a helplessness and grief that sweeps over people when they view tragedy from afar — an emptiness in the pit of the stomach that makes them want to reach out and connect. 

Geography, identity and proximity all come into play with how, when or even if we react. 

With the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. — now listed as the worst in U.S. history — Albertans took to social media to mourn in public; to offer sympathies, condolences, and yes, opinions, anger or to find someone, or some group, to blame.

It's messy, sometimes ugly, touching and sad.

The shooting comes on the last day of pride celebrations in Edmonton.

At the NDP convention in Calgary, politics was set aside briefly for a moment of silence as things got underway on Sunday morning.

 

Of course, politics is only ever paused. Even then, it shades one's view of the world

Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean also offered thoughts to families of the victims, tinged with a bit of anger at the "hatred" and "terror."

Premier Rachel Notley focused her anger on persecution of LGBTQ people. 

Those within Calgary's LGBTQ community expressed sorrow for such a heartbreaking loss. 

And showed their defiance and determination in the face of a targeted attack. 

That defiance was on full display in Edmonton, as the tragedy marred the final day of pride celebrations, but acted as a reminder of its importance. 

As well as the importance of symbols and public displays. 

In Calgary, the social realm was not enough either, with a vigil organized for Olympic Plaza on Sunday at 9 p.m.. 

And while there was anger and hate across social media, as people grappled with the scale of the attack in Canada and the U.S., it was #loveislove that was trending on Twitter, not hate, not anger.