(WWLP) – 22News is hearing local reaction following the deadly shooting of a LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs this past weekend.
22News spoke with Taurean Bethea, President and Founder of the Springfield Pride Parade, who told us he is both sadden and angered by the horrific incident.
Bethea says the LGBTQ+ community tries to make safe spaces for themselves, but says that across the country they are constantly dealing with hateful and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, which then too often turns these safe-spaces into, quote, “war-zones.”
Bethea told 22News it’s time to turn the sadness and anger into action. “We are all fearful of what could be, but then that should really motivate us to get involved. So I strongly want to motivate everyone to get involved, understand what is going on, and truly support one another.
Bethea says his organization is working to create a “Safe-Space” initiative in western Massachusetts. The initiative involves working with local businesses in an effort to ensure the establishment is safe for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
To learn more about the “Safe-Space” initiative, click here.