Where there is darkness, there is light. The tragedy of the Orlando shooting which left 50 dead and 53 injured will leave a hole in the hearts of many, but the resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community is shining through. The hashtag #TwoMenKissing has emerged on Twitter and is a beautiful display of pride and defiance against homophobia.
— Thaddeus Maximus (@thadnelson) June 14, 2016
— Love, Simon (Sayers-Franklin) (@SimonSFranklin) June 13, 2016
The gunman Omar Mateen had anti-gay views and had recently been offended to see a gay couple expressing affection on a street in Miami.
“We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music,” Mir Seddique, Mateen’s father, told NBC News following the shooting.
“And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry.”
— Alec (@isntitalec) June 13, 2016
PRIDE. Always pride. ALWAYS.✊ pic.twitter.com/KnJtH5v8J8
— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) June 12, 2016
— Theo Bleckmann (@Theo_Bleckmann) June 13, 2016
The hashtag has become a symbol of hope as members of the LGBTQIA+ community post photos kissing their significant other. The reaction has been huge with other hashtags such was #TwoWomenKissing, #LoveIsLove and #OrlandoUnited emerging around social media.
— Promise™🗼 (@TheLifeDiaries) June 14, 2016
— Tamára Lunardo (@TamaraLunardo) June 13, 2016
— Mayor Buddy Dyer (@orlandomayor) June 13, 2016
What’s beautiful is that it’s not just the community in Orlando, but around the world that are contributing to this hashtag and standing with those who are hurting. We stand with you, Orlando, because love is love.