Thursday, October 26, 2017

Las Vegas publications react to shooting massacre

by Joe Siegel

The staffs of publications serving the Las Vegas LGBT community have worked to bring comfort to those who were affected by the October 2 massacre that killed 59 people and left hundreds more wounded.

“Both of us were already home in bed when we got news of the shootings,” recalled co-publisher Garrett Pattiani. “[Co-publisher] Russ [White] stayed up most of the night monitoring the situation.”

As an LGBT publication in Vegas, QLife has a history of relationships with local hotels. “We used to promote the LGBT night at the Mirage [Resort & Casino] using the dating apps. Russ lives less than a mile from the shooting location in the middle of The Strip. The police and SWAT team sweeps started at the south end at Mandalay Bay [where the shooting took place] and moved north toward Bellagio and Paris, so he hopped on Grindr and Scruff to notify dozens nearby of the active shooter situations.”

QLife has also been leveraging its social media to share details and stories about local needs for blood and supplies, said Pattiani.

The staff of digest-sized magazine Gay Vegas was also profoundly moved by the mass shooting.

“We have received an outpouring of support, concern and love from people from all over the world,” said publisher John Lawrence. The November issue will be dedicated to the victims, he added, noting that Gay Vegas has donated directly to those affected by the tragedy.

“Without question, those involved in the everyday logistics of Gay Vegas magazine are going through the same feelings and emotions as the rest of our local community,” Lawrence said. “Gay Vegas has continued to operate throughout this tragedy knowing the importance of setting a Vegas Strong example for our LGBTQ community as we continue to live each day as ‘No Day But Today.’”

The staff of QLife offered a special message on its website just after the attack: 

“Las Vegas became the site of the greatest mass shooting event in modern history. For many in the LGBTQ community, this brings back memories of Orlando. As we assess the enormity of what has occurred, our family of LGBTQ publications have reached out to help tell the story we are unprepared to tell ourselves.

“Many friends were attending or working the event. Many more sheltered in place in hotels, kitchens, theaters and shops unable to leave until the early hours of the morning. Vegas is a place where the world comes to forget their worries, let loose and have a great time. It doesn't make sense to have this as a target.

“Our hearts and our city are broken, but we are strong. With 44 million visitors every year and a population of 2 million, we are outnumbered by the people who visit Vegas and rely on our community for food, fun, and sadly today, medical attention, comfort, consoling, and for over 50, bereavement.

“Our city lights continue to shine bright, and though we are still shaken, we are #VegasStrong. We are The City of Entertainment. The show must go on.”

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