Local LGBTQ Community Reacts To Orlando Shooting

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(KFSM)-- After the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Saturday (June 11) many members of the LGBTQ community continued their pride celebrations Sunday (June 12) and organized candlelight vigils to honor those who were killed

It’s being called the deadliest mass shooting in US history, and many people said it left them in fear.

“I had an immediate reaction to just cry, stay in my room,” Jess Harness, a member of the River Valley LGBTQ community, said.

But, for Harness, that feeling didn’t last long.

“It’s important that we keep on celebrating,” Harness said. “We can’t be afraid. That’s terror. We can’t give into it.”

Harness and dozens of other people joined together for the final day of pride week in the River Valley pn Sunday to show strength in the midst of tragedy.

In Northwest Arkansas, a candlelight vigil was held to honor those who were killed.

“I’m glad that we can all be together and do something like this in times of need,” Kelly Wells, who attended the vigil, said.

Wells said this tragedy hits too close to home.

“I have friends in the LGBT community, like what if it happened to them,” Wells asked. “What if it happened to me or someone else that I know and love? It’s just the whole thing, it’s just all of it could have been prevented.”

Harness said the community will come together in this time of grief.

“People will hate us just for who we are, who we love and what we do,” Harness said.”That hurts, but we’ve overcome so much, we can overcome this too.”

Fayetteville Pride Week starts Thursday (June 16).