pulse-shootingContact: Kawana C. Davis | 704-449-8447 | kawana@clgbtcc.org

(Charlotte, N.C.)—On Sunday morning, the country stood still as we all watched, read and Tweeted about the most deadly domestic act of terror in our nation’s history.

Around 2 a.m. in Orlando, Florida, a gunman identified as Omar Mateen opened fire at the LGBT Nightclub, Pulse. 50 people were killed inside the nightclub and at least 53 were injured.

The CLGBTCC wishes to extend our greatest condolences to the families and friends of those who were lost during this time. While words don’t seem to be enough, we want those mourning in Orlando, and across our nation, to hear us when we say we are angry with you; we are crying with you; we are, like you, wondering when the violence against our community will end.

Not since the riots at the Stonewall Bar in 1969 and the fire at the Upstairs Lounge in 1973, has there been such a violent act against the LGBT community. The fact that this horrific event occurred during Pride month-a time in which our community remembers our past and celebrates our future-only solidifies our resolve to call to action an effort which will end these senseless acts of violence.

A vigil will be held Monday, June 13 at Bar 316, 316 Rensselaer Ave. at 8:30 p.m. to mourn the loss of our LGBTA brothers and sisters and to have a safe space to discuss, pray, and cry over this tragedy- together. Any and all are welcome to attend as we are an inclusive, open community.

Will Bryant, a small business owner and gay man, said he remembers feeling scared the first time he went to a gay club nearly 15 years ago.

“The first time I walked into a bar, (I had this) nervous feeling, scared to death I would see someone that knew me, or how I would be perceived,” he said. “Then I think about how after I walked in, I felt so safe because I was surrounded by people who knew me. Now, I think about how many young people will stay secluded, and (be) scared to go somewhere where they can express themselves and feel safe.”

Melissa Morris, President of CLGBTCC, echoes those concerns.

“I am devastated and saddened that again, LGBT people are not even safe within our own spaces,” she said. “Our society has come to such a divide that any individual would go to such extremes to show their hated for strangers. Discriminatory laws create discriminatory social norms which lead to internalized hate manifesting in the destruction of our basic human morals. The CLGBTCC grieves for Orlando and for this nation. We are here to support our local community during this time of mourning and will do whatever it takes to spread the seed of acceptance for our LGBT brethren.”

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Want to show your support? Here’s how:

Sunday, June 12th – Join us at the Candlight Vigil for Orlando at 1900 The Plaza, Charlotte NC28205 – RSVP Here

Monday, June 13th – Join us at the Candlight Vigil for Orlando at The Bar at 316, 316 Rensselaer Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203 – RSVP Here

Donate: Support the Victims of the Pulse Shooting by Donating Here.

Donate Blood: All blood donations will be needed from folks who can donate in Florida. We urge our community to be mindful that summer is a time is a time where blood donations are needed nationwide. Here are the local locations to do so: http://www.cbcc.us/contact-us – Charlotte Center, 4445 South Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28209. Or to The American Red Cross, use this link to find one near you: http://redcrossblood.org/give/drive/driveSearch.jsp?&utm_campaign=FDRb