ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – The tragedy in Orlando is affecting the entire country including right here at home in the Capital Region.
Members of the LGBT community came together at Rocks bar in Albany to honor the victims of the shooting at a gay club in Orlando.
After speaking with many of them, News10ABC learned how tight-knit this community really is, between those here at home ad down in Florida.
“So I’m just like oh my god you know how many of my friends were out last night that were down there, and two of them were,” said Wayne Lundgren, who had friends at Pulse during the shooting.
Later in the day, he found out one of his friends is in the hospital in critical condition and the other, that person’s partner, is missing.
“It’s nerve-racking; I mean you just don’t know what’s going to happen, what the outcome’s going to be. The only thing you can do is think positive,” said Lundgren.
That’s exactly what Lundgren and other local LGBT members were doing less than 24 hours since the shooting. They gathered for a candle-light vigil at Rocks Bar in Albany to show their love for the victims.
“We want to make sure that they’re aware that this isn’t right and it can’t make us be afraid. We have to make sure we live our lives,” said Rocks owner Lance Rider.
Something they said they’ve been trying to do for decades and will continue to do after this most recent act of hate.
“It’s gonna be one that’s gonna be a little more hard to navigate over but we’ll do it and we’ll come out stronger,” said Rider.
“We’ve come too far as a movement to step back in the closet and not go to the clubs and to the centers that were built for us,” said Michael Weidrich, Executive Director and CEO of Pride Center of the Capital Region.
Bouncing right back like they always do.
“Just keep your head up and that goes for everybody down in Florida you know and all my friends, keep your head up, be strong, we’ll get through it,” said Lundgren.
If you would like to help the victims of the shooting and their families, Rocks will be accepting donations Sunday night, throughout the week, and at a special drag show next Saturday.