Local News

Durham LGBT community vows to not live in fear after Orlando shooting

Posted June 14, 2016 10:15 p.m. EDT
Updated June 14, 2016 11:00 p.m. EDT

— At a Tuesday night vigil in Durham, members of the LGBT community talked about security and safety following the Orlando nightclub massacre.

People came from all over and police shut down the street for the growing crowd that gathered outside The Bar, a meeting place for the LGBTQ community.

“For many of us, this is our refuge, this is our sanctuary. This is where we come together and we can be free, we can be ourselves,” said participant Adriel Hortiales.

Participants remembered that it was at a place similar to The Bar that 49 people lost their lives early Sunday morning.

“We will keep coming back to our neighborhood bar. We will not hide, we will not run away from it. This is our home,” said Helena Cragg with the LGBTQ Center of Durham. “You know we are still not safe, but with each step forward, we are hopeful we have finally turned a corner and our society has changed enough to where we are not under attack.”

Hortiales said safety has been a big concern since the Orlando shootings, but watching the crowd grow at Tuesday’s vigil helped a lot.

“I feel a little unstable of where I am at, like unsafe, because I feel it could happen anywhere,” he said. “It’s giving me strength, giving me inspiration.”

There was also a political tone to the rally as speakers shared opposition to House Bill 2 and immigration policies.