Image via screengrab Natalia Jaramillo/Orlando Sentinel/TNS The shooting took place during the weekend of the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Image via screengrab Natalia Jaramillo/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

“Thanksgiving tables will have empty chairs this week. Holidays will have missing faces. These are the costs of hate violence,” Equality Florida said in a statement.

On Sunday, under downcast grey skies, a tearful crowd embraced at the Pulse memorial in Orlando as the Orlando Gay Chorus sang “Love is Love is Love.” 

They were there to mourn the deaths of the five killed at an LGBTQ nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs this weekend when, just before midnight, a gunman walked into Club Q and began shooting into the crowd. Before being subdued by clubbers, the 22-year-old killed at least five and injured 25 others, several of them critically with multiple gunshot wounds.

The shooting took place during the weekend of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, where 32 members of the trans community who have been violently killed were to be honored. 

This brought back harrowing memories to Orlando’s LGBTQ community and its allies. More than six years earlier, on June 12, 2016, a gunman claiming allegiance to Islamic terrorists burst into the Pulse nightclub and shot to death 49 people, wounding dozens more. The shooter was eventually killed by police.

RELATED: Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Fuels Anti-LGBTQ Hate Online

“It is no coincidence that yet another community refuge, and the safety it provides, has been shattered amidst a political climate supercharged with anti-LGBTQ hate by powerful leaders and right wing extremists,” Equality Florida, the state’s largest civil rights organization for the LGBTQ community, said in a statement. “Thanksgiving tables will have empty chairs this week. Holidays will have missing faces. These are the costs of hate violence — costs we know all too well.”

State Rep. Anna Eskamani added that “as Orlandoans, we stand in solidarity with those impacted by this senseless tragedy and recommit ourselves to honor those no longer with us through action.”

Also at the memorial Sunday, Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet, executive director for Hope CommUnity Center in Apopka said, “The silence of the governor is deafening” and “it’s time for action.”