Columbus’ LGBTQ community offering resources to cope with tragedy

Caleb McGrew, right, wipes tears as he stands with his partner Yosniel Delgado Giniebra, center, during a vigil in memory of the victims of the Orlando mass shooting, Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Miami Beach, Fla. A gunman opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub early Sunday, before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Central Ohioans are trying to come to grips with the largest killing spree since the 9/11 attacks.  The mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub has left Americans asking tough questions and processing these events.

The shooter targeted the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.  The local LGBTQ community is stepping forth with resources to help all central Ohioans cope with this tragedy.

King Avenue United Methodist Church Pastor John Keeny says, “Community is where we find strength and we meet God through the support of the other person.”

Reverend Keeny is looked to for advice and words.  Many people rely on their faith during dark times.  The reverend says he will write a letter to his congregation about the Orlando attacks and affirm his LGBTQ congregation members.

He adds, “The shooting put a face on hatred, but I think King Avenue (UMC) should be putting a face of love on what the LGBTQ community is all about.”

Keeny says King Avenue United Methodist Church will host a religious service for Pride Friday night.  Keeny tells NBC4 the program has been altered and attendees will be able to pay their respects to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting.

Equitas Health is launching a support group Wednesday Evening from 6:30-7:30pm for people who want to work through these events in a group setting.

Equitas Health’s Director of Healthcare Operations Anna Wuerth says, “Anybody who is interested in processing through their grief or just talking  about the events that happened in the company of others who are supportive of the LGBT community.”

Some people might struggle in the wake of this violent act.  Equitas Health Behavioral Therapist Tyler McGuire encourages people to pay attention to loved ones who might be having trouble adjusting to the news of this violence.  McGuire says there are signs people should look for, “Social withdrawal tends to be a big one. Irritability, anxiety.”

If you are interested in participating in Equitas Health’s support group or seek individual counseling sessions, you can call 614-340-6777 or visit

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