Columbia nightclub hosts benefit drag show for Orlando victims
COLUMBIA - A nightclub in Columbia is hosting a benefit drag show for the victims of the Orlando shooting.
"It's going to be a long evening," said Jeff Davis, one of the owners of the Yin-Yang nightclub. "We're going to celebrate the community and all of the efforts, the people and the businesses that have gotten behind the LGBT community."
The nightclub is donating part of the proceeds to help victims of the Orlando shooting.
"I'm sorry," Davis said. "It's an attack on Americans and it's an attack on the LGBT community as a whole. I don't think even now we know the whole scope or all of the things behind what was going through this man's mind. So, I think all you can really say is I'm sorry."
The nightclub typically has five performers during a show. Tonight there will be at least 15.
The nightclub is also expecting about 300 people to attend the benefit.
During a break in performances, Yin-Yang will play a slide show of all 49 victims' photos, their names and something about them.
"We want people that haven't seen it to be able to put a face to the names of the victims of the shooter," Davis said.
"We discussed that maybe it's not the best idea business-wise, but it's the best idea as far as the right thing to do," he said. "We're doing this for the victims and their families and in their remembrance and it didn't seem right not to."
Davis said despite the tragedy, there has been an increase in business this week.
"There's been tears, there's been laughter," he said. "It's one of those things that you get together and you don't want to just mourn constantly. You have to influx that with good things and remember."
"In times such as these there are no words to adequately describe our feelings towards the senseless acts of violence against our fellow human beings," Yin-Yang owners said in a statement. "Therefore, we as Americans, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and straight, must stand together more unified than ever and show our fortitude and resolve as one community and one nation."
The event begins at 9 p.m. tonight, but doors open at 5 p.m.
[Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated the time the show was scheduled to begin. The story has been corrected.]