Wagga Orlando vigil

LIGHTING UP: Samson Taylor-Harpey, Ella Taylor-Harpey, Isabella Taylor-Harpey and Gemma Saffery were among the 100-strong crowd at Thursday night's vigil.

LIGHTING UP: Samson Taylor-Harpey, Ella Taylor-Harpey, Isabella Taylor-Harpey and Gemma Saffery were among the 100-strong crowd at Thursday night's vigil.

MORE than 100 residents lit up Wagga’s Memorial Gardens on Thursday night with one message: we are here.

People from all walks of life gathered to light a display and pray for the victims of last week’s massacre in Orlando, which left 49 people dead. 

Members of the city’s LGBTQI community said the vigil will be a start of the healing process.

Many remarked it was heartbreaking the attack occurred at the same time the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir made its triumphant return to the city.

Wagga Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays secretary Max Lyons said it marked the sense of loss he was feeling.

“I think it is important that we have something symbolic for the community to rally around and deal with our own shock and sense of loss and mourning around it,” he said.

Momentum’s Zoe Beaumont said emotions were still raw from the attack at Pulse nightclub and people were “very scared”.

“Although we are lucky that in Australia we have gun laws so we probably won’t be shot,”  she said. “But the threat of violence, unfortunately, hangs over the queer community everyday.”

The vigil ended with an Islamic prayer from Charles Sturt University’s Muslim association. 

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