Orlando attack rattles Albertans and drives home importance of pride
Coming on the last day of Edmonton Pride, reaction streams in across Alberta to deadly shooting
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.
NDP convention pauses for a moment of silence for victims of shootings in Orlando nightclub. <a href="https://t.co/dK9wqk4iGw">pic.twitter.com/dK9wqk4iGw</a>—@CBCScott
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."
Praying for the families of those killed and injured by such a vicious act of hatred and terror in Orlando this morning.—@BrianJeanWRP
Premier Rachel Notley focused her anger on persecution of LGBTQ people.
Thank you, Estefania. The horrific violence targeted at LGBTQ people is beyond deplorable and it has to stop. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yyc16?src=hash">#yyc16</a> <a href="https://t.co/HtrH43VJJW">https://t.co/HtrH43VJJW</a>—@RachelNotley
Those within Calgary's LGBTQ community expressed sorrow for such a heartbreaking loss.
Our deepest sympathies to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PulseNightclub?src=hash">#PulseNightclub</a> victims and their families.—@CalgaryPride
And showed their defiance and determination in the face of a targeted attack.
The fight is not over. Not even close. This is why we raise the flag. This is why we have a parade. We will win. For the victims. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LoveWins?src=hash">#LoveWins</a>.—@mikesbloggity
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 we head to the Edmonton Pride Mayor's Brunch for Camp Firefly, I have the horrific hate crime in Orlando on my mind. Let love rule.—@krista_ference
As well as the importance of symbols and public displays.
Saddened by the murders in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Orlando?src=hash">#Orlando</a> today. <br><br>Edmontonians stand firmly against hatred.<br><br>Looking into 🌈 bridge lighting. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yegcc?src=hash">#yegcc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yegpride?src=hash">#yegpride</a>—@doniveson
I'm proud and sad to be at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yegpride?src=hash">#yegpride</a> brunch this morning. I wish we didn't need them, but we do. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OrlandoShooting?src=hash">#OrlandoShooting</a> <a href="https://t.co/c4J8mnm4Vj">pic.twitter.com/c4J8mnm4Vj</a>—@LukaszukAB
In Calgary, the social realm was not enough either, with a vigil organized for Olympic Plaza on Sunday at 9 p.m..
Tonight in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YYC?src=hash">#YYC</a> a vigil for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PulseShooting?src=hash">#PulseShooting</a> in solidarity and support <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yyclgbtq?src=hash">#yyclgbtq</a> <a href="https://t.co/b3OXEEu0Dw">https://t.co/b3OXEEu0Dw</a>—@nolanev
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.