As people across the nation gather to pay their respects to those killed and hurt in the Orlando night club shooting…folks in Northwest Arkansas are also supporting their fellow members of the LGBT community….a vigil was held in Fayetteville.
It was held at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church where members of the LGBT community were showing solidarity with the people affected by the Orlando shooting.
This shooting comes just days before pride week kicks off.
Events are scheduled across the nation, including here in Northwest Arkansas.
Its already considered the most devastating mass shooting in u-s history and the death toll continues to rise.
Susan Hartman from the NWA Center for Equality says, “Well what that means for the LGBT community is now more than ever we need to stand together.”
The overall mood at the event was a somber one– compared to what this week was meant to be.
“I personally am a little afraid, the fact that it could happen anywhere, that it happened period to my community is very scary. The fact that it could’ve been me is the scariest thing I can think of,” said Ryan Lea, an active member in the LGBT community.
Hartman says this is northwest Arkansas’s opportunity to say, hate crimes will not scare them, and acts of terrorism will not change their attempts to celebrate the pride they have for their community.
“We also want to celebrate our community, we want to celebrate the fact that love conquers hate, so we’ll come together to stand together and to stand up against acts of terrorism and hate in our community,” said Hartman.
“I’m still full of joy and happiness because I have the person that I love and he loves me back and so we can move forward together knowing that we have this love in our community,” said Lea.
The tenth annual Northwest Arkansas Pride Festival and rally is set for this Saturday.