Kindness. Support. Community.

Candles in hand, the LGBTQIA community gathered 400 strong in Braun Court June 12 in response to the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people and injured 53 more.

Comfort for shock and fear. Strength for each other.

That a candlelight vigil called just after noon brings that many people together by sunset is remarkable—a testament to the community's strength and support. That the murders the night before are the largest mass shooting in American history is gut-wrenching. That the vigil is the same day as the Motor City Pride celebration in Detroit makes it all the more poignant. 

Prayers and songs. Safety and sanctuary. Moments of silence and yells of outrage.

At the vigil, the calls to be brave, out, outraged and supportive come from public officials, religious leaders, singers, from Trillium's own president and from the first publicly out man in Michigan, Jim Toy. Earlier, the \aut\ bar used a hashtag of #refusetobeinvisible. Everyone in Braun Court did exactly that.

Hugs and hand-holding. Sweetness and sadness. And the freedom to express all of it.

In the days that follow, the community responds like this:

These things make Ann Arbor great today—and every day.