INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - Just hours after the LGBTQ community celebrated love during the Circle City Indy Pride parade, the group gathers once again. This time, to mourn the lives of at least 50 people who were shot and killed inside of an Orlando night club.
“It is great that we had a celebration like we did yesterday, but today it is about unifying. We have to come back as a community for a different purpose ad it is one of mourning the lives that are lost,” says Indy Pride President Jason Hinson-Nolen.
Hundreds gathered, holding hands and praying for peace. Reflecting on the terrifying moments where their brothers and sisters in Orlando were gunned down and murdered in what authorities are calling an act of terror and hate. The group’s message to the hatred, is to stand together and be who they are and love who they please.
“We are just normal human beings that are trying to live our lives,” says Metro Nightclub and Restaurant manager Ruth Hawkins.
After the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, gay bars and clubs on Mass Ave. are also increasing security. Working to once again create a safe space of LGBTQ members to come.
“You are not just attacking a business, you are attacking a place that people feel like they belong. Where people feel safe and secure,” says Hawkins.
Leaders of Indy Pride know that there is a lot of work to be done to make their community feel safe again.
“I think that it is important to remember that we are loved. Every single person in this community is loved by someone else and we still have work to do,” says Hinson-Nolen.
But the LGBTQ community says, love always wins.
“We are a gay bar and there are a lot of people in the state of Indiana that believe that because who we choose to love we are something to be feared and hated,” says Hawkins.