YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Orlando shooting that occurred early Sunday morning shook the country, including the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and its supporters in the Mahoning Valley.
“I think anytime anybody attacks another individual with any type of a weapon we’re looking at a hateful act. It’s something that we need to come to grips with in this country,” said Tom Beck, a Unitarian Universalist Church member.
Youngstown Councilwoman Anita Davis runs the LGBT group Pride Youngstown. The 2016 Pride Youngstown Festival will be held the weekend of July 16.
Davis said the festival board started discussing the need to strengthen security because of the Orlando shooting.
“We will be talking and discussing with the mayor about some additional security for the festival, but our plans for the festival and our other upcoming activities remain unchanged we will not submit to any kind of intimidation,” she said.
Davis also said shootings are occurring everyday and the LGBT community is constantly taking hits. Preparing for shootings is not something she wants to hurt the festival, but it’s now a real concern.
“You have to change with the times. Nothing is etched in stone. So it’s just one more thing of dealing with these times,” Davis said.
Davis is also a former police officer and said the best way to stay safe is to constantly be aware of your surroundings.