(Editor's note: A list of events and businesses donating to the victims of the Orlando shooting is included after this story. If you would like your event or business included, please send an email to email@example.com.)
HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - After the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, over 700 miles away in Orlando, some in the Hampton Roads LGTBQ community say this still hits close to home.
“We grew up feeling in some ways marginalized, targeted because we’re different in some ways,” said Michael Berlucchi, president of Hampton Roads Pride. “So certainly, it’s on our minds. It’s been on our minds practically every day of our lives. It’s very close to home, and it’s very, very scary.”
“I knew that it was a hate attack, because it just seemed that way to me almost instinctively,” said Scott Goodspeed, a Norfolk resident who spoke to News 3 on Sunday prior to a candlelight vigil. “It’s the beginning of pride week. It was at a bar that was predominately known as a gay gathering place. It made me very, very sad, and a little scared.”
However, Dr. Rick Ellis, a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia Beach, says there is one emotion that typically outweighs fear or empowerment.
“A feeling of helplessness is probably the biggest feeling that’s everyone around the country, around the world is experiencing,” Ellis told News 3 Monday afternoon. “I have spoken with patients about what’s going on. I think everyone’s talking about it. I think everyone is trying to make sense of the total injustice of it.”
While Ellis says there are a wide number of responses to dealing with the emotions surrounding a mass shooting, one of the best things you can do is to get involved with your local community.
“The closer someone is to a situation, the more traumatic it’s been to them,” said Ellis.
Getting involved is exactly how many in the Hampton Roads LGBTQ community are responding.
“We’re sadden, but we’re not deterred,” Berlucchi told News 3, and mentioned the Hampton Roads upcoming Pridefest is schedule to continue on as planned.
Blood donations – You can help the victims of the Orlando shooting by donating blood at a local bank. According to CNN, Orlando's OneBlood donation center put a call out on Twitter saying there was an "urgent need for O Neg, O Pos and AB Plasma donors following a mass shooting in Orlando.
AT&T - AT&T wireless customers can text “Orlando” to 20222 to donate $10 to ORMC’s (Orlando Regional Medical Center) Level One Trauma Center to help with on-going medical support needs. No text message fees apply.
The Green Onion – According to their Facebook page, 20% of all sales made within the next week will be donated to victims and their families.
The Hershee Bar – According to their Facebook page, 20% of all sales made within the next week will be donated to victims and their families.
37th & Zen – According to their Facebook page, 20% of all sales made within the next week will be donated to victims and their families.
Monday, June 13th
–Candlelight vigil @ Old Dominion University
–Stand with Orlando Community Conversation and Rally @ the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads
Tuesday, June 14th
–Interfaith Celebration at Temple Ohef Shalom: The Hampton Roads LGBTQSI Inter-Faith Group invites you to join with the faith communities from all across Hampton Roads for our 4th Annual Interfaith Celebration during Pride Week 2016.
Wednesday, June 15th
–Vigil in Remembrance of Orlando Victims, High Street Landing in Portsmouth, 12:00 pm
–Peninsula Pride Party @ Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina Hotel: Enter at wristband station in front of Hampton Maritime Center, this is a rain or shine event with a live band. Registration required.
–Candlelight Service @ Freemason Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, 5:30 pm
Thursday, June 16th
–HRBOR Third Thursday @ O’Connor’s Brewery: Celebrate the Pride in our strong LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly business community.
Friday, June 17th
–5th Annual Pride Block Party @ Norfolk Scope Arena
Saturday, June 18th
–Pridefest 2016 @ Norfolk’s Town Point Park, feat. Betty Who
–Pridefest 2016 Boat Parade: A highlight of PrideFest 2016 is the 6th Annual Pride Boat Parade, the only Pride Boat Parade in the country.
Sunday, June 19th
–Sunday Drag Brunch @ DRAG YOURSELF TO THE BEACH