gay clubs in columbia

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COLUMBIA- After an Orlando gay club experienced the largest mass shooting in United States history, a Columbia gay club expressed it's concern. 

Yin Yang co-owner Jesse Bailey said he has already been in touch with the Columbia Police Department. He said the police will have a heavier presence around the club and will come in later this week to talk to employees and drag performers about taking precautions. The club will also increase security and staff.

Bailey said Yin Yang is a safe space for everybody, no matter their sexuality, and the club owners would like it to stay that way.

Katerina Hunt, who identifies as bisexual, said she has been to drag shows at Yin Yang. She said she appreciates the openness and lovingness of the LGTBQ community. 

"To hear that something this hateful happened in such a supportive, open community, it's just devastating," Hunt said.

She said the LGBTQ community is hurting and afraid because gay clubs are meant to be a safe space.

Pitt Potter owns Arch and Column, another gay bar in Columbia. He said he has no words for the tragedy except, "the fabric of society needs mending." He said he is disappointed and speechless.

Potter and Bailey both said the LGBTQ community is a family. 

The staff and performers at Yin Yang said they want the whole Columbia community- lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and straight- to be able to come together to pay respects. They will host a benefit show Saturday night and give proceeds to the families of the shooting victims.