YUMA, Ariz. – Communities across the country are coming together to show unity after the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.
Parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays (PFLAG) is offering support for those affected by the massacre. The Yuma chapter is one of more than 500 across the U.S.
President of PFLAG’s Yuma chapter, James Hargrave, says, “We’re continuously sending out the message that the LGBT community is not alone. When tragic events like this happen, it’s very easy for people to isolate and that’s one of the worst things they can do so we want them to reach out. They can talk to any one of us for peer support. We’re not professional counselors but we can offer emotional support, listen and validate what someone is going through.”
Hargrave adds that the LGBT community experiences acts of hate all the time and although not many people in Yuma have reached out to seek support quite yet, he says, “We should focus on the factors that create these situations. All the little factors of oppression support and build up to these tragic events”
PFLAG advises the community to take caution in celebrating pride month and attending LGBT themed events and venues. They also advise to be aware of your surroundings and potentially dangerous or suspicious situations.