Over the weekend, Join The Impact MA joined with the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition and GetEQUAL MA for the #RiseAboveH8 candlelight vigil and speakout on the State House steps answering the national call for a response to the shooting of lesbian teen couple, Mollie and Kristine, in Portland, Texas. Mollie did not survive the attack and Kristine is fighting for her life in intensive care. The June 29th vigil was held in honor of all LGBTQ Youth who have suffered violence due to the hatred and bigotry so prevalent in our society. Although Mollie and Kristine’s case is not known to be a hate crime at this point, with violence against LGBT individuals at a twelve-year high, a heightened level of anti-gay vitriol inevitably leads to violence against LGBTQ individuals and communities.
Speakers shared stories about queer youth homelessness, hate crimes, and suicide, expressing their frustrations and anger at the onslaught of queer youth violence, and the lack of media attention and support for the survivors. Members of the crowd spoke out their frustrations of the lack of basic protections for LGBTQ, such as a national employment non-discrimination law, and public accommodation protections for transgender individuals in the Commonwealth. The vigil ended with a call to action to get up, get out, and raise our voices up against the forces of hate and violence. The surviving victim, Kristene is without insurance and the family is in need of help and support. They have set up a fund to help offset the costs of her hospital stay: http://www.gofundme.com/kristine