Locals of the LGBTQ community to come together at West Capitol Park

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – People across the country are coming around after the horrific nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida.

The LBGTQ community in the area came together last night for a vigil at a local bar and on Monday supporters will gather in West Capitol Park to honor the victims of the shooting.

The event will be filled with people holding a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

For Michel Weidrich, the early morning shooting at a prominent gay nightclub hit too close to home. He attended the Capital Area Gay Pride Festival on Saturday.

“It literally could be anywhere in the country. And it could have easily happened here last night, you know after pride festival everyone went out to the clubs and it was packed. Just like the club in Orlando,” he said.

Weidrich is also the Executive Director of the Pride Center for the Capital Region and says it’s not uncommon to be a target of hate. But this attack which is now being called the most devastating mass shooting in U.S. history brought it to a new level.

“We’ve been targets for hate groups and haters for decades. It’s nothing new. But to go to this scale to reach this level and to be the biggest mass shooting in American history to the LGBTQ community it’s especially heartbreaking,” Weidrich continued.

Even so, Weidrich says he and others in the local LGBTQ community won’t let the shooting dictate their lives.

“You can’t live in fear you can’t hide. 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. To protect us and to empower us,” he continued.

The vigil starts Monday night at 6 p.m. in the park but Albany isn’t the only city that is mourning this tragedy. There will also be a vigil outside of Schenectady City Hall starting at 6 p.m.

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