My fellow community members,
It is with a broken heart and a heavy soul that I come to you today. After an amazing Capital PRIDE Parade and Festival yesterday, we awoke today to the horrible news of the terrorist attack on our LGBTQ community in a gay club in Orlando, Florida overnight. At this time, officials have stated that 50 people are dead and 53 people are injured and is being called "the worst mass shooting in American history".
We are shocked and horrified by this act of terror and hate against our LGBTQ people and devastated by the loss of so many of our brothers and sisters in the Orlando community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's friends and families and the survivors of this brutal attack.
This incident is so sobering after yesterday celebrating the strides we have made as an LGBTQ movement, as we gathered for PRIDE and packed our local nightclubs. The thought that this could have happened in our community is very frightening. But we are a resilient people and a strong community. We have been targets of hate and victims of oppression for a long time, and we have persisted. We will mourn our dead brothers and sisters and mend our wounded loved one, and grow stronger. We will not let fear push us back into the closet!
In the face of this tragedy, please join the Pride Center and In Our Own Voices for a Candlelight Vigil Monday June 13th at 6 PM in the West Capitol Park next to the Capitol Building at State & Swan St.
Be well and be safe,
Executive Director & CEO