Pine Belt LGBT members discuss coping with Orlando tragedy - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Pine Belt LGBT members discuss coping with Orlando tragedy

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PINE BELT (WDAM) -

Just days after the deadly shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, local LGBT members said they are still in shock.

Kaylee Bradshaw said she is still trying to process this horrific ordeal.

 “I have been numb, I have not actually had time to process it,” Bradshaw said.

Pastor Brandiilyn Dear said the shooting is a scary reminder of the dangers they face.

“I think we start to go along our day and we take for granted that there may be people out there that really want to truly bring harm to us because we are members of the LGBT community,” Dear said. 

They said they cannot  live their lives in fear.

“When we stand strong as a community, when we continue to show our faces and live out loud. We send a message that no you’re not going to strike this fear in us, you’re not going to silence us,” Bradshaw said. 

In the wake of this tragedy, they said the strong show of support around the world has been powerful, but they would like to see the same support from the Pine Belt community.  

“There has been a lack of people rallying, not like you would expect to see,” Dear said. 

 They drove around the area and found several places that have not lowered their flags to half staff to honor of the victims. They even called to ask why, but were not given any answers.

"I see hospitals with their flags flying at full staff, I see schools with their flags at full staff, the fire department with their flags at full staff. It’s disheartening and it’s almost a slap in the face,” Bradshaw said. 

In the midst of this tragedy, they said they are not losing hope.

A prayer vigil will be held Wednesday at Joshua Generation metropolitan community Church at 7 p.m. 

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