We gathered to remember young people who recently took their own lives because they had been bullied for being gay or appearing to be gay.
We came under the name "ACCEPT" -- standing for "All Charlottesville Caring for Every Person Together."
The vigil got modest news coverage, tucked onto the bottom corner of the front page of the local Daily Progress.
The local television stations covered the vigil, and that was a measure of progress.
The most moving reflection I heard came from Associate Rector Ann Willms, and I share this with you with her permission:
Last night at the ACCEPT vigil, standing on the steps of the Rotunda with students who spoke, and other clergy members from the community, I looked out over the crowd holding lit candles. My twin middle school aged daughters were standing at the front. As we heard about the lives of young people which ended in suicide, the terrible suffering of those who were the target of bullying because of who they were (perfect in the eyes of God but scandalous in the eyes of mortals) – I could not help thinking that we were standing at the foot of the cross, like the women at Calvary. Jim asked me whether the candles we had donated were our Easter Vigil candle supply – I nodded yes, then realized just how appropriate it was. We were gathered at the foot of the cross, waiting and watching and hoping against hope for the dawn of the resurrection.
Photo by the Rev. Peter Carey.