Chicago LGBTs and supporters to gather in remembrance of Orlando terror victims

Sun. June 12, 2016 1:12 PM by News Staff

boystown remembers orlando terror victims

photo credit // twitter/alexnitkin

Two Chicago-area vigils planned for Sunday: 7 p.m. in Lakeview, 7:45 p.m. in Andersonville

Chicago, IL - Chicago's LGBT community and supporters will gather Sunday night in response to the Orlando mass shooting that has left 50 people dead and 53 others injured.

The vigil organized by Chicago Survivors, a non-profit organization that helps families in the aftermath of a homicide in Chicago, will begin at 7 p.m. at Halsted and Roscoe Streets in the heart of Chicago's LGBT gay neighborhood.

"Being a crisis responder here in Chicago and dealing with the homicides in our own city, it was hard to hear the news of the mass shooting at the night club in Florida. Being a part of the LGBT community here this has hit me very hard. I can not stand by and be idle," said openly-lesbian crisis responder Dawn Valenti of Chicago Survivors.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson will attend the Lakeview vigil to offer support for the LGBT community. 

A second Chicago-area vigil is planned for 7:45 p.m. on Sunday at Balmoral and Clark Streets in the Andersonville neighborhood. 

On Monday, June 13, Center on Halsted will host a community vigil at 7 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted St, on the Richard M. Daley roof terrace.

"Our community is no stranger to hate and discrimination, but time and time again we have prevailed," said Modesto Tico Valle, CEO of Center on Halsted. "We have been guided by love and now again we will prove that love wins."

Early Sunday afternoon, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement called the shooting a "horrifying act of terrorism" that was "an attack on our most fundamental values as Americans."

The Orlando shooting comes during a series of national celebrations and parades that mark LGBT pride month, including Los Angeles Pride and Milwaukee Pride Fest this weekend. Chicago Pride Fest is slated for June 18-19 in Boystown. The Chicago Pride Parade is the following Sunday, June 26.

Related: Boystown Chicago reacts to Orlando nightclub shooting 

Related: Milwaukee Pride increases security following Orlando terror attack