Sunday was Oneonta’s first pride festival. It took on special significance one year after a gunman killed dozens of people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Participants read the names of everyone killed, stood silent for a moment, and hung up a white banner, according to organizer Elayne Mosher Campoli.
“It said, ‘always in our’ then it had a heart that was a rainbow with a pulse in it, like a heartbeat inside of it,” said Campoli. “Everyone could sign their names around it.
“It was really beautiful because we brought rainbow colored markers, of course.”
She’s keeping the banner – for use in the future.
For Campoli, even though she’s not related to the people at Pulse, she still feels a connection through their shared identity.
“In our community, the LGBTQ+ community, we find our identities through discovery and we bond through that. Even though I might not be related or know these people, somehow we’re still connected,” said Campoli.
In Binghamton, some people have turned to religious services.
At a Jewish shabbat service at the Temple Concord, attendees took time to remember the victims of the Pulse attack and other “martyrs who are LGBTQ,” said Claudia Stallman, head of the Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project at Binghamton University.
“It’s very important to celebrate our identities and be unafraid and out and proud,” said Stallman. “But also [to] remember those of us who, in the act of being who they were, lost their lives.”
Her group is preparing for an interfaith service in Binghamton on Wednesday.