CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Prayers and poetry served as a message that the University of Cincinnati's community stands with the victims of the shooting in Orlando.
"We're not afraid anymore," said Nik Worstell, co-director for LGBTQ affairs for student government at UC. "We're going to keep fighting and that we're not going to let them take these places that we've had to create for ourselves because we can't be other places."
The LGBTQ Center organized a vigil on campus as a crowd of more than 50 people listened to several campus leaders from the student body and the staff. From the stairs of Swift Hall organizers spoke about resolve and moving forward together.
"The resolve is at the core of who so many of us are," said LGBTQ Director Amy Schlag. "Unfortunately, for a lot of (the LGBTQ community) the process of figuring out who we are and coming out as queer or trans has been very often been met with resistance, rejection, loss of family, loss of friends. There is an ingrained sense of resiliency as a part of just being able to be here."
The LGBTQ Center Director Amy Schlag helped organize the event and wanted to use it as a way for the University to come together for the victims and their families. Schlag knows what the fight for equality has been like for the LGBTQ community not only at UC but across the country. It's a history book that has very dark beginnings, Schlag cited the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City.
"Unfortunately, (violence and hatred) comes with part of our history and part of what's going on but the thing that we know is that each and every time we've kind of stood up to it and we've come back together in healing and love as a community," said Schlag.
"It was good to see that this (vigil) wasn't just the LGBTQ community and the LGBTQ students, it's a whole community together and that we all have each others backs," said Worstell. "We all are saying that this is enough and we can't let these acts of terrorism and violence keep happening."
Part of the message on Monday afternoon was that students have a place they can turn to if they need help. Schlag made it known that the LGBTQ Center's doors are always open and the University offers an outlet through their Counseling and Psychological Services office on Calhoun Street.
"The counseling is great, it's an outlet, I've used it before," said Worstell. "It's great to know that your University wants to put your safety and your wellbeing and your metal health first."