LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – In support of the LGTBQ+ community, people in Lansing gathered Wednesday to remember and honor the victims of a shooting at a Colorado gay bar.
The shooting killed five people and injured 25 others. Police are treating the shooting as a hate crime.
Wednesday was cold and dark, but people showed up in numbers to honor the victims. There was a sense of unity as people rallied behind Lansing’s own LGBTQ+ community.
The message was clear: they are not alone and Lansing is here for them.
On the night before Thanksgiving, most families are busy preparing, but not the Shorkey family, not this year.
Raven, Aiden and Jennifer Shorkey came out together Wednesday night to support others in the community and each other.
“We’re a community, we stick together,” Aiden Shorkey said. “That’s how it should be.”
“My child is just like me,” Jennifer Shorkey said. “They’re no different and we’re here to support and be supportive as a family.”
Wednesday was about honoring the victims, but it was also about making sure people had a place to grieve and recognize the support for Lansing’s own LGBTQ+ community.
“No tragedy is going to keep us from gathering together and honoring our own when necessary,” Raven Shorkey said.
For Lansing Pride president Ben Dowd, it’s about taking a moment to think about our own lives and the places we call safe. Dowd wants people to realize the victims were in a place many in the community call safe. A place where they are accepted, where all they wanted to do was dance.
“You do naturally let your guard down right? And this is just something that opens your eyes and says, ‘Wow, this could happen anywhere I go,’” Dowd said. “We all want to dance in life. And if you correlate that club to life – life is a dance, right? There’s a song about that and we want to live that life and not be in fear of attack for it.”
Lansing Pride said they’ll continue conversations over safety concerns for Mid-Michigan’s LGBTQ+ community.
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