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  • With more than 50 dead and many more injured,

  • the events unfolding in Orlando are nothing less than horrific.

  • Yet they also show that the case for LGBT rights has never been more critical.

  • I have been to Pulse nightclub, a low-slung gay bar in downtown Orlando,

  • And in many ways, it was, unremarkable.

  • Pulse was so unremarkable that it seems impossible that anybody could take offense.

  • Let alone gun down more than 50 people,

  • earlier reports however have suggested that the gunman had become enraged after seeing two men kissing.

  • Times were supposed to have changed.

  • When I first went out on the gay scene back in the early 1990s,

  • it was not unusual to bat off homophobic insults on the way home.

  • And sometimes it tipped over into violence.

  • I spent a night in hospital having my upper lip sewn back together,

  • after being queer bashed in Edinburgh in 1993.

  • It was depressing. It was upsetting.

  • But it was the 1990s, more than 20 years ago.

  • Many of us fought back, to change opinions.

  • In 1993 backed by Stonewall, the human rights group,

  • I took the British government to the European Court of Human Rights over the gay male age of consent than 21.

  • We all fought to be unremarkable, to be inoffensive.

  • We fought to be left alone.

  • The fact that people still hate LGBT people does not surprise, but it still shocks.

  • The reasons behind the shooting remain unclear,

  • whether the gunman was motivated by

  • a hatred of homosexuals,

  • or out of religious beliefs, it's almost beside the point.

  • The fact that hatred still exists, at all, is the point.

  • Behind the campaigns, the pride marches and the rainbow flags,

  • gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, lead ordinary, deeply boring lives.

  • Tonight SOHO stops at 7PM to remember those killed and injured in Orlando.

  • London's gay village will come to a standstill as people take to the streets.

  • But it will not just be the LGBT community standing shoulder to shoulder,

  • we will be joined by straight people of all ages, creeds, and colors.

  • And that, in its own way, will be unremarkable.

With more than 50 dead and many more injured,

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