ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The memories of the five victims killed in the Club Q mass shooting two weeks ago —which injured 25 others — were honored Saturday through a vigil at Rochester’s Bachelor Forum Club.
Any hate crime against the LGBTQ community in any part of the country is personal for those around Rochester who also identify or are allies to this group. Those with Bachelor Forum, the city’s oldest Gay Bar, want everyone to know that hate cannot be tolerated here.
Among those in attendance were religious organizers, who showed out to give condolences and support to everyone who is a member of the LGBTQ community.
Artisan Church Pastor Scott Austin emphasized, “The thing that I think is most important to say is that there are religious communities in our community who are able and willing to not only support but also to affirm the lives and identities of the people who are most directly affected by this kind of violence.”
By gathering, Rochester’s LGBTQ community and allies want to send a message that nobody is alone in the fight against homophobia and will continue to push for equality.
“Especially today with all this rhetoric and targets being placed on our backs by politicians inciting people to violence by calling people groomers and deviance,” Out Alliance Board President Andrew Moran said. “In a way very little has changed, and we continue to fight back, and we continue to have power as a community.”
The vigil began with some prayers and speeches calling for unity and strength to not let this tragedy create permanent setbacks in their movement. Then it finished with lighting candles and moments of silence.
“Our queer spaces are supposed to be our sanctuaries, are supposed to be where we can gather to live full of life and full of vibrancy,” Moran continued. “An attack on any of them anywhere is an attack on all of us and all of our safety everywhere. So, we have to come together and show them that we won’t stand down.”
Management of Bachelor Forum is also doing a fundraiser online until Jan. 1st when the bar will do a dollar-for-dollar up to 1,000 donated to the victims of the Club Q shooting. To donate go to the bar’s Venmo, @Bachelor-Forum.
To avoid attacks like these coming to Rochester, clubs like Bachelor Fortum have also increased their security and surveillance system around their property. And communicate with RPD when holding big gatherings.