A POIGNANT vigil was held outside the Guildhall in memory of the victims of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
For the first time in Worcester’s history, the rainbow flag was flown at half-mast above the Guildhall as the city stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the LGBT community.
A two-minute silence was held to remember the 49 victims of the shootings at the nightclub in Orlando last Saturday, June 11.
Impassioned speeches were also made by the organisers of the vigil, Worcestershire Pride, as candles were lit by the side of the rainbow flag at the steps to the Guildhall in solidarity with the LGBT community.
Robert Shiels, who made a poignant speech to gatherers at the vigil, told the Observer he now hoped the LGBT community in Worcester could be more visible following the vigil.
“I think people being here tonight and showing solidarity, especially with the flag flying above the Guildhall and the support from the Mayor and local councillors means I think we can start taking steps now to be more visible in Worcester,” he said.
“We may have even shown the youth out there that there are people who are LGBT and of all ages that it gets better.
“High school can be tough, but you can grow up, be gay, be happy, and be in Worcester- you don’t have to leave. You don’t have to go to Birmingham or London or Brighton you can stay here.
“I think it’s been great to give the LGBT community in Worcester some visibility.
“Now more than ever the LGBT communities across the world need to show we are united, we are here, we are queer and we will not live in fear.”
Worcester City Council leader, Coun Adrian Gregson attended the vigil, said: “It was really about solidarity and saying that the city of Worcester, regardless of our differences, has an awful lot of sympathy and the understanding of the sorts of problems that clearly the LGBT community has.
“It’s about the demonstration of condolence, but it’s also a statement about how we move forward.
“It is really pleasing to see so many people out here and lots of friends.
“I’m also proud of the city council that we were able to say this is a good place to come to be able to remember those who were taken,” he added.