By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota LGBTQ community supported the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting tonight. Organizers put an Emergency Queer Bar Crawl together in 24 hours. There were five stops in five hours.

Organizers said it was an effort to raise money and awareness.

“My heart was reeling after Orlando,” organizer Chad Kampe said.

And that’s why Kampe wanted to bring our community together.

“These people when they lost their lives were in joyous times, dancing, having fun. What we do when we go out. So we want to make sure we’re celebrating their lives and having those times with our community,” Kampe said.

People who showed up for the bar crawl say it’s about standing up for who they are and what they believe in.

“We really want to make a statement that we’re out here we don’t have to be scared we’re going to support these local bars because it’s probably quieter than it usually is because people have that fear in their hearts right now,” Jay Pierce said.

Christina Jackson performed during the crawl.

“Having to see something like this happen to our fellow brothers and sisters it cuts deep, it touches so deep,” Jackson said.

The group proudly walked from bar to bar.

“To show we are all together a community as one,” Kampe said.

“We’re just giving the love back baby because you know it’s about unity in the community and it’s all about love,” Jackson said.

Many say doing something so seemingly ordinary after tragedy can be so symbolic.

“It’s a beautiful thing that people have come together,” Pierce said.

The participating bars The Saloon, Gay 90’s, Eagle Bolt Bar and Lush will make a donation to the growing Equality Florida GoFundMe. So far more than $5 million has been raised for victims and their families.

Pride will be held in the Twin Cities next weekend.

Organizers are asking everyone to donate to the Equality Florida Pulse Fund.

For more information, or to donate, visit the Emergency Minneapolis Queer Bar Crawl online.

Jennifer Mayerle

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