UPDATE: This story has been updated with video from the concert.
The murder of 49 people at Pulse in Orlando has spurred an outpouring of grief, anger, love and calls for change across the globe. At his concert in Liverpool on Tuesday night, Elton John took a moment to talk about all those emotions, but also about how he sees a glimpse of hope out of the horrible tragedy, which experts speculate could have been both an act of terrorism and homophobia.
“When a horror like this massacre in Orlando comes along, great agony crashes across the world like a tsunami. And great grief. We feel shocked, angry and feel devastated inside for the victims and the loved ones who are mourning them,” John said.
John told the crowd at ECHO Arena that he’s been busy in recent months working with Lady Gaga on the Love and Bravery project that’s about “having love to accept everyone for who they are. Especially people who are different from you and the bravery to show it.” And while the reportedly self-radicalized madman behind the spree that also injured 53 appeared unable to accept the patrons at Pulse, John said he was able to find a sliver of light in the darkness.
“What I find extraordinary and what really gives me strength and hope is that immediately behind that devastation came a different wave. A rainbow colored wave of love, from Istanbul to Tel Aviv, from Sydney Opera House to the Eiffel Tower to the Empire State Building and the White House,” he said of the many international landmarks that lit up in rainbow colors in honor of the victims and their families.
John, a longtime LGBTQ rights supporter who has raised more than $349 million for HIV prevention and education via his Elton John AIDS Foundation since 1992, added, “so tonight, while I would like to honor and mourn the LGBT community’s loss in Orlando and the loss of everyone who has been a victim of hate and stigma and dogma, I would like to say tonight we are winning the fight against prejudice. The rainbow around the world tells me we can and we will win against these people.”