HOUSTON — Houston came together Wednesday night to mourn the five victims lost in the Club Q shooting and to make it clear they will continue to stand up and speak out against the type of hate that showed its face in Colorado Springs.
"This just felt so targeted, against me, against the people I love," Meghan Fairbanks said. "This one felt more personal. When you come for one of us, you come for all of us."
They lit candles and several community activists spoke to pay tribute to the memory of the victims. All five of their names were read aloud. It was followed by a poignant moment of silence.
"It was devastating," Christopher Barry said. "Your mind wanders and you think 'How does it get to that point? 'How do you prevent it from happening again?'"
It's something Barry thinks about a lot lately. He owns Buddy's, a gay bar in Montrose.
"We're not alone. It's not just gay bars being attacked. It's schools, churches, retail stores," Barry said.
They said bigotry is fueling senseless violence everywhere time and time again.
"There's so much hate speech that seems to lead to events like this," said Lydia Tinsley, with ActOUT. "When our community is impacted by something so tragic, we naturally all want to be together."
By coming together in their grief, strangers become friends, and friends become family. Together the LGBTQ community is on a mission to show the world hate will not win.
"I want people to see us," Fairbanks said. "I want people to know we're just like everyone else. We go to work. We pay our taxes. We pay our bills. We go shopping. We contribute to society. We're just people, we're just a little different."