LPD working with LGBT community to ensure safety

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LANSING, MI (WILX) Damn Smith runs a social group for lesbians in mid-Michigan, Lansing Lesbians. "You feel safer here in Lansing but since this happened, you get all shook up, and you wonder where are we gonna be safe," she said.

She says clubs like Spiral Nightclub in Old Town can help gay people feel comfortable because they are places people can feel free to kiss, hold hands, and be themselves without judgement.

Last week's shooting in Orlando changed that.

"When you can go to some place and be that free and then it gets all disrupted, and you think, 'Where is my safe space now?'" Smith said.

The Lansing Police Department says that it visited Spiral Nightclub, and that it's increasing patrols in the area to help the community feel safe.

"We have a police department that cares we have a very progressive police department that is an inclusive department as part of this community and they genuinely care about the LGBT community and the entire community as well," Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said.

He says he understands if members of the gay community feel they are under attack, but that they should know the city supports them. "We are stronger together, I believe that fundamentally," Bernero said.

Smith says more police in Old Town is a good thing.

"I don't think it's going to hurt, because there's still problems going on that the police have to address, and if they're out there, and they're accessible, and they're available, people can see them, then they're going to use them," Smith said.

But Smith says real change will come from everyone addressing small acts of hate and stopping discrimination and prejudice at every level.

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