The shooting massacre at a club in Orlando is hitting people very hard in Portland’s gay community.
On Monday, people feeling distraught were encouraged to share their feelings and get counseling support for free at the Q Center in north Portland.
Executive Co-Director Justin Pabalate said a group of local therapists reached out to the Q Center, offering their services for a group discussion and one-on-one counseling.
Pabalate said they want to focus on members of the LGBTQ community who don’t have insurance or access to counseling services. Unlike other recent acts of terrorism, Pabalate said this shooting zeroed in on an already wounded group of people.
“Our community has faced trauma for so many years, all the time,” said Pabalate. “That’s what really makes it hard that we’re being targeted again.”
Sean Brochin planned to attend the Q Center event, saying, “What happened in Orlando has cut straight to the heart of every queer person in this country.”
Brochin attended a rally in downtown Portland on Sunday night where hundreds of people gathered in solidarity for peace in the gay community and to honor the shooting victims.
But Brochin knows some people need a smaller and quieter venue where they can truly open up.
“Queer people have always been the ones to support each other, hold each other and lift each other up and that’s not going to change now," Brochin said.
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