The mass shooting that took place in Orlando on Saturday, killing at least 50 people and wounding 53 others, was not only the worst such incident in U.S. history but also a seemingly targeted attack on the LGBT community. Not only did the gunman — 29-year-old Omar Mateen — choose a gay nightclub as his target, he reportedly did so after getting “very angry” when he saw two men kissing in public, according to an interview with his father.
Celebrities and public figures from the LGBT community were at the forefront of the national and global mourning of the attack, with many of them sharing messages of support and condolence on social media.
Actor-director George Takei of Star Trek fame, a longtime advocate for LGBT rights, said he was “devastated” by the attack and expressed support for the victims and their families.
British musician Sir Elton John also took to Twitter to express his grief, sharing a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. along with a message of solidarity.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who came out in late 2014, added his voice to the outpouring of grief, as did actors Neil Patrick Harris and Kristian Nairn (known for his role as Hodor on Game of Thrones).
Two prominent individuals from the transgender community, Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, and former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, also grieved.
Comedienne Ellen Degeneres, meanwhile, summed up her reaction to the horrific attack in one word.