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Pain and healing at a Boyle Heights vigil for the Orlando victims

Almost a week after the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, members of the LGBT and Latino communities along with their supporters gathered in Boyle Heights to mourn the dead. 

Many of the victims of last weekend's massacre at Pulse nightclub were Latino so the rally, held at Mariachi Plaza, had special resonance in the heavily Latino neighborhood of Los Angeles.

"We knew we needed to have a space, a vigil that in many ways was led by us and for us," says Jorge Gutierrez, executive director for Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, the group that organized the event. "It's impacting not just LGBT communities. It's impacting Latino communities across the country, immigrant communities across the country, black communities across the country. It was needed for us to be really visible, especially to our own folks. That's why it was really important for us to have it there."

Approximately 150 people turned out for the vigil, which began with a few speakers. The microphone was then opened to anyone who wanted to speak. The names and ages of the 49 victims were read and a candle was lit for each of them.

"That was, I think, one of the most powerful moments of the night," Gutierrez says.

Although many of the participants came to address feelings of anger, fear and profound pain, the vigil ended with music.

"Towards the end, we reminded each other of the moment to celebrate our identities and our experience and our lives," Gutierrez says. "I think part of our Latino culture is that we actually heal by being with each other. I think that collective healing, holding each other, it's how we deal with these tragedies in our lives and our families and our communities."