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Pittsburgh holds candlelight vigil in honor of Club Q shooting victims

With a message of solidarity with the LGBTQ community, a few dozen people gathered outside First United Methodist Church in Bloomfield Wednesday evening to honor the victims of last month’s shooting at Club Q in Colorado.

The names of Kelly Loving, Raymond Green Vance, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump and Ashley Paugh were read individually along with their biographies and anecdotes from friends and family. Pastor Tracy Cox says especially since the social justice demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, her congregation has been having conversations about what it means to be an ally to minority communities.

“Just because you’re uncomfortable doesn’t mean you don’t talk about it,” Cox said. “Maybe you need to talk about it more. And we always leave knowing that it’s okay.”

Pittsburgh Equality Center’s Jeff Miller says he’d also like to see more communication between LGBTQ people and those unfamiliar with the community.

“I think when people get to know each other as individuals, as people, a lot of labels disappear, a lot of fear disappears and anger and mistrust,” Miller said.

The candlelight vigil included prayers, pledges and promises by the crowd to stand up against hate and bigotry.

India Krug contributed to this report.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community. kblackley@wesa.fm