CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As Colorado Springs mourned the loss of the five people. the LGBTQIA community across the world also mourned, including those in the Coastal Bend.
“Immediately your heart just sinks because you think, that’s our people,” Frank Reyna said. “Those are our brothers and sisters that are out there, that are being taken from us. That are being hurt.”
Hurt and scared was the last thing Reyna wanted people to feel.
It was the reason he opened up Milky Coffee Bar on Everhart.
“We need somewhere to decompress,” Reyna said. “We need somewhere to kind of forget about the outside world.”
He said he wanted people to feel safe no matter who they are.
A piece was taken from the LGBTQIA community when a gunman opened fire on Saturday night at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs.
“For it to be the same day as national Trans Day of Remembrance It’s just too ghastly,” Reyna said.
“I thought, this takes me back to 2016 when the Orlando Night Club Pulse shooting happened,” Kitana Sanchez, Miss Gay Universe 2022, said.
Sanchez, a trans woman, is the vice president of CCLGBT.
She often performs at local nightclubs and events.
“We’re gonna have to put our shields even more now,” Sanchez said.
She said she knew the Colorado Springs shooting took away a sense of safety for many people.
“We’re going to have to come together stronger and be prepared in case incidences like this continue to happen which I hope and pray that they do not,” Sanchez said.
Often a voice for her community, she said they will not be silenced.
“There are conservative groups out there that do not agree with us just living our authentic selves and that’s all we’re trying to do at the end of the day,” Sanchez said.
Reyna is thankful that more people didn’t lose their lives.
“It was actually our people that took him down,” Reyna said.
Two customers stopped the gunman.
“To those people, I really commend them and applaud them because they put their life out there to make sure that everybody else could be safe,” Reyna said.
But he said one was still too many.
“The number should always be zero when it comes to the people taken away from us,” Reyna said. “Whether it be people in a nightclub, whether it be our trans brothers and sisters that we lose every single year.”
Sanchez and Reyna said they pray for the victims and hope they can provide comfort to those struggling to feel safe.
“I pray that is something that our city, that our community never has to go through,” Reyna said.