In the aftermath of last night's mass shooting and hostage situation, Terry DeCarlo of the GLBT Community Center of Orlando
said today that the Center will be gathering mental health professionals and volunteers to offer counseling in person or by phone to anyone who needs it.
In an on-camera interview with WESH-TV
's Michelle Merritt this morning, DeCarlo, visibly shaken, said, "How can you not say that this was an attack on the LGBT community when it's done in an LGBT club and a shooter walks in and there are 20 of your community members lying in a club and another 40 lying on hospital gurneys?"
He continued, "We're here." This was probably meant as reassurance that volunteers will be available to help anyone affected, but we couldn't help but hear an echo of Queer Nation's immortal 1990s chant "We're here, we're queer, get used to it." We support Orlando's LGBTQ community at this time (as at all times), and we know that their resilience and courage will stand them in good stead throughout the investigation and aftermath of this horrific event.
In 2014, Watermark published a profile of DeCarlo
when he started as executive director of the Center. DeCarlo announced in May that he was resigning resigned and would leave his post the Center June 24, according to a recent Watermark post
, DeCarlo had planned to spend the month of June seeking a replacement.