SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Nearly one week after the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, people are still feeling a range of emotions, and people in the Capital Region are trying to do some good for both the victims and their families.
June is a month filled with Pride celebrations, and many in the Capital Region are taking part. Those celebrations however, took on a different meaning and importance after the events of last weekend in Orlando.
Wayne Lundgren is still mourning the loss of his two friends who died in the shooting in Orlando.
“There hasn’t been a day gone by that I didn’t think about you know the events, you know the timeline you know that was going on in the club,” says Lundgren. “My friends, thinking about how they reacted.”
Lundgren says he felt helpless, not being able to be in Florida this past week. But now that sense has gone away.
“When the events were you know happening, you kind of felt like wow what am I going to do you know and, we’re doing something.”
Lundgren and other members of the LGBT community are raising money for the victims of the shooting and their families.
Members of the LGBT community and beyond came together Saturday in Schenectady for an afternoon of drag performances and fun at City Hall in Schenectady.
They also raised money for the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub.
Organizers of the event say now is the time to celebrate love and show support of those in the South.
Robert Quinney, Co-Chair of Schenectady Pride, and also known as Champagne, says helping the shooting victims is part of gay culture. They’re all family who help one another and rise up together.
“It’s about coming up, standing up and saying that no matter what we’re still here, we’re not afraid, we’re not scared,” said Quinney. “We’re not going anywhere and we’re going to help our fallen brothers and sisters and their families and loved ones.”
Not only are they rising up, but they’re growing stronger together.
“Hate’s not winning. It’s about love. Hate to us, hate doesn’t exist,” said Quinney.
Samantha Clarke, a Schenectady Pride attendee from Gloversville, says the LGBT community can use this event to come together for a powerful voice for change.
As for Lundgren, he says every day gets a little bit easier, but doing his part for those affected is helping along the way.
“I’m trying to move on just as much as everybody else here. That’s what they’re doing. They’re moving on, being stronger, and we’re just learning to cope with it.”
To finish off a day full of events, Schenectady Pride also partnered with Rocks Bar in Albany for a party and a drag show to raise money for the victims of the shooting.
Organizers of Schenectady Pride say they raised $2,850 Saturday afternoon. Rocks Bar raised well over $4,000.