CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than 300 miles away from Orlando, Fla., Charleston's LGBT community stands as one.
"We're very tightly bonded. Community is a word I would use to define the LGBT people," says Mitchell Hammonds with the Charleston Pride Festival.
Hammonds says a greater partnership with the Charleston Police Department will be important to ensure the safety of hundreds of patron involved in the eight-day festival.
"We'll be working with them even closer now that this has happened to make sure they increase security if they see that that's needed this year," he says.
Hammonds says festival board members have already made contact with LGBT groups in Orlando and have decided to pay tribute to the victims, survivors and their families. Hammonds said, "We definitely will be honoring those individuals who were lost. They were such beautiful lives that were taken for being who they were.
In a speech the nation Sunday, President Barrack Obama called the act one of hate and terror. Hammonds says the LGBT community will continue to fight injustices and mistreatment. "I think it's important that we don't back down. That we show everyone we're proud of who we are and that we can come together during this time and continue to celebrate who we are."