Post Orlando Massacre: What Are Pride And LGBT Clubs Doing To Protect Their Guests?
The massacre at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando called Pulse happened in the early hours of Sunday, June 12. This massacre left 49 members of the Orlando LGBT community dead and another 53 injured. Naturally, the Orlando massacre has left the world with a lot of questions. Why did this happen? How did this happen? Most importantly, what are LGBT and pride clubs (and other organizations) going to do to prevent something like this from happening again?
According to Billboard, the massacre has had an immediate impact on the LGBT party and nightclub scene in New York City as the community has been gearing up for its annual Pride week which takes place on June 19. Pride week includes the long-running Pride Parade as well as the 30th annual “Dance on the Pier” party which takes place on June 26.
— Mark Price (@markprice_obs) June 14, 2016
Courier-Journal reports that the leaders of the LGBT communities across the state of Kentucky are reconsidering current security plans in the wake of the massacre for the upcoming gay pride events which are scheduled to take place at the end of June. According to Rodney Coffman, president of Kentuckiana Pride, the mayor of Louisville will be having meetings with the local police department over the next few days in order to increase security measures to ensure there isn’t a repeat of the Orlando massacre.
— WLKY (@WLKY) June 15, 2016
NPR reports that while it has yet to be confirmed whether or not the nightclub was targeted specifically because it was a gay nightclub, the LGBT community of Orlando cannot help but feel targeted by the shooter.
“We make no assumptions on motive,” Equality Florida, an LGBT rights group, said in a statement after the attack.
“We will await the details in tears of sadness and anger. We stand in solidarity and keep our thoughts on all whose lives have been lost or altered forever in this tragedy.”
In the wake of the Orlando massacre, police all across the United States have pledged to increase security measures at Pride events and LGBT landmarks (such as the Stonewall Inn) to protect the LGBT community during their festivities.According to Billboard, LGBT club and parties have been known as safe havens for the community as a lot of the guests had endured more than their fair share of hatred over the years. Following the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, nightclub owners and event organizers are stepping up to increase security in order to provide their guests with the same safety and comfort they used to enjoy at these locations.
“We do take the incident in Orlando very seriously,” Jason Kaciupski, events manager at Addison Group NYC and owner of high-end nightclubs such as Monarch atop the Marriott Courtyard in Manhattan’s Herald Square, said. “We will be adding additional security check points for our guest’s safety.”
Brandon Voss, the longtime owner and promoter of Voss Productions and Events, which is producing three different events during Pride this year, also plans to increase security but has not released any specifics regarding the security changes they plan to make, Billboard reports.
— Rick Kriseman (@Kriseman) June 13, 2016
Several different venue and nightclub owners have been adamant about the spirits of Pride events remaining intact in the wake of this Orlando massacre. While the LGBT community around the United States is mourning the loss of the victims of the massacre, they do not want to be distracted from celebrating Pride and the messages of positivity, love, and freedom that come with it.
Ed McPherson, a music industry attorney, expressed that this could be one of the most monumental Prides of all time.
“People understand that this may be one of the most important Prides that they ever attend, that Pride is very important this year. I think the community is really starting to recognize that if we don’t come out, if we don’t show our pride and be out and be who we are, that’s letting those who wish to silence us win.”
[Image via Shutterstock]