ACS Responds | Orlando, FL Tragedy

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

At Adolescent Counseling Services, we were shocked and saddened to learn of the devastating attack on the LGBTQ+ community during Latin Night at PULSE nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We wish to express our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed. As people around the world grieve and mourn this senseless act that took the lives of 49, we know this incident will have a long lasting effect on many – especially on LGBTQ+ youth of color.

This crime is another reminder of how much work still lies ahead for all to live peacefully amongst one another, in spite of our differences. ACS is determined and committed to being an unwavering participant in the work to empower young people. We work tirelessly to de-stigmatize mental health and LGBTQ+ identities.

Last night, our Outlet Program’s Monday Night Group, for LGBTQ+ youth ages 10-18, met and reflected on what had happened. Some were angry that this took place because they fear it will scare other youth from coming out, especially if their families are unaccepting. The LGBTQ+ youth who attended group yesterday held a vigil of their own where they quietly made art, painted rocks, lit candles, and read the names of those who lost their lives in this shooting.

As ACS works with youth and families struggling in the aftermath of this tragedy, we encourage everyone to consider the following healing steps as we move forward the in the coming days:

  • Practice self-care
  • Talk with youth about how they are feeling
  • Support the LGBTQ+ community
  • Participate in a vigil
  • Resist phobias – homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia

Our hearts and minds are focused on healing. Just as we help youth everyday to overcome obstacles and look ahead to the future, we embrace the work that must happen to ensure a world where love is love and all people are treated with dignity and respect.

In solidarity,

Dr. Philippe Rey
Executive Director, Adolescent Counseling Services


*Please direct any inquiries to: Aarika Riddle, ACS Advancement and Marketing Director,  or 650-424-0852 x103

Upcoming Bay Area Peninsula Vigils

  • Friday, June 17th at 4pm

    Friday, June 17, 20164:00 p.m.
    County Government Center
    455 County Center, Redwood City

    This vigil is co-sponsored by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, the LGBTQ Commission and the Pride Initiative.  All are welcome to attend.

    More information here.