Reading Stands with Orlando

Reading Stands with Orlando
17 Jun 2016
18 Jun 2016
Andy Adams

Following on from our previous Press Release, Reading Pride, coordinated with other Prides across the UK is holding a vigil at the Town Hall Square from 6pm to remember the 49 victims that were savagely killed at Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida last Saturday.

Reading Pride Marketing Manager, Mikey Russell said:

As our Pride celebrations across the UK were coming to a close last Saturday a tragedy began to unfold in America. That following morning it was not the hangovers that we woke to but instead the shock and horror that brought our community to its knees but the LGBT+ community is strong. Why? It has (and still is in many countries) got used to the hate and the violence where our sexuality or gender is used by society to divide us when we are no different to anyone else.

ISIS has been throwing gay men off buildings for a long time now that has largely gone unnoticed by the press. It is no surprise that they would eventually target the LGBT+ community in its string of attacks across the world.

Let this vigil unite us not for what makes us different but for what we have in common, a human being.

Reading Pride Entertainments Manager, Tania Ellwood adds:

What happened in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub was a calculated attack by a fanatical murderer. He called the Police to pledge his allegiance to ISIS and wanted them to kill him so he could become a martyr. His reason for needlessly ending young people's lives appears to be that was he was struggling with his own internal homosexual urges that would eventually lead to him being shot by police.

This kind of attack is horrific and may scare some LGBT+ people but there are support groups available to discuss any concerns they might have, such as MyUmbrella, Samaritans, Support U, Thames Valley Police, Reading Pride and more.

The order of service will be (approximate):

Time Description
5.50pm Thames Valley Gay Choir perform
6.00pm Chair, Andrew Adams's introductory speech
6.02pm Tania Ellwood representing MyUmbrella's speech
6.05pm Patrons Sarah Hacker and Kirsten Bayes speech
6.10pm Patrons read out the 49 victims names
6.15pm Thames Valley Choir perform
6.20pm 2 minute silence
6.22pm Thames Valley Choir perform
6.27pm Jamie Wake speaks about Hate Crime
6.32pm Andrew Adam's closing speech
6.40pm A group from local schools perform
7.00pm CLOSE

People from all communities in Reading are being encouraged to attend with speeches starting from 6pm on Saturday 18th June to show their support, any enquiries or organisations wishing to get involved should contact