LGBTQ pride celebration and health fair held in BX

The Bronx LGBTQ community came together Saturday to celebrate their pride.

The Bronx LGBTQ community came together Saturday to celebrate their pride. (7/16/16)

The Bronx LGBTQ community came together Saturday to celebrate their pride. 

The Bronx LGBTQ Center and Montefiore Hospital hosted the 2016 LGBTQ Pride and Health Fair in Crotona Park today. 

Audrey DeJesus, the co-chair of the LGBTQ Center of the Bronx, says the event is typically a joyous one. This year, however, it took on a more somber note in the wake of the attack on a gay nightclub in Florida that killed 49 people. DeJesus’ cousin Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velazquez was among the victims. 

DeJesus and other organizers set up a memorial in honor of the Orlando nightclub shooting victims.

“My heart fell to the floor and ever since then I've been advocating about violence and being aware of your surroundings,” says DeJesus.

DeJesus and others at today’s fair want to spread the message of love, disarming hate and standing strong. 

Members of the LGBTQ community say they used today’s fair to celebrate who they are and not hide from it. 

“This is an opportunity for them to come together not only to talk about the issues that impact the LGBTQ community, but also the resources that are available to them, and how we can as a community, as Bronxites, come together and say, 'You are part of us,” says state Sen. Gustavo Rivera. 

Montefiore Hospital also provided HIV testing and a discussion on suicide prevention.

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