Westside Secondary’s GSA club speaks about Orlando shooting

June 16, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Written By: Jasen Obermeyer

Across Canada, vigils and commemorations are being held for the Orlando nightclub shooting. Students of Westside Secondary School’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) are raising awareness and voicing their opinions, despite their own concerns.

The shooting happened early last Sunday, June 12, at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, 29, killed 49 people, wounded 53 others, before police shot him. The attack is the country’s deadliest mass shooting, deadliest violence against LGBT people and the country’s deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11.

Several GSA members say they are shocked and upset, especially after celebrating a diversity walk two weeks ago to promote equality for LGBT people. “I find it really scary that you can be killed for just being who you are.”

Members handed out leftover freezies in the cafeteria from their diversity walk, wearing rainbow coloured clothing to remember the victims and spread awareness.

Some members say this attack may have been intentionally done during Pride Month. “It’s very sad that this month is supposed to be for celebration and instead we’re all kind of in fear.”

Other members say they should come together and not be afraid. “It’s really just pushing us in the community to stand taller and stronger and show them that they can’t really shake us no matter how hard they hit us.”

Members say they enjoy the Westside community for its acceptance and equality. “I just want it to be like this everywhere. We have somewhere to go, we have people to talk to.” They say it should be a basic right for those who don’t have what they have.

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