(WHTM) — The latest mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub occurred thousands of miles from Central Pennsylvania, but the local community is hurting too.
“A sense of anger and almost just a hopelessness, like what can you do to fix it? What drives these folks that go in and think they need to attack us,” said Barry Tonoff, marketing director at Brownstone Lounge.
The Brownstone Lounge in Harrisburg is often seen as a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community, just as LGBTQ people in Colorado Springs saw Club Q.
Whether they are targeting us or schools or whatever it’s just unfortunately the environment that we are in. There is not much you can do about it. Just hope it doesn’t happen here,” Barry Tonoff said.
K. Foley echoed those remarks. She’s the executive director at the Lancaster LGBTQ Coalition. She says she’s recently canceled events over safety concerns.
“When we have a win in the LGBT community we typically brace for backlash. We are at a place of increased violence, hate rhetoric, and attacks on our rights and they are going after our trans and non-binary children,” said K. Foley, executive director at the Lancaster LGBTQ Coalition.
Foley remembers the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 and its impact on the LGBT community. She says it’s important now more than ever to be there for one another.
“As a community how can we support one another like really, really support like we can’t go back to pretending like things are going to be normal,” Foley said.