Biloxi club to close for a day in remembrance of Orlando victims

Biloxi club to close for a day in remembrance of Orlando victims

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Reaction at Just Us Lounge in Biloxi following a massacre at a gay club in Orlando is one of sadness, and disbelief.

The massacre is a personal one to Lynn Koval.

"This walked into my home and my heart is broken," Koval said. "My heart goes out to Orlando. We recognize in a very deep way that any of us had been vacationing in Orlando, we would have been at that bar."

Koval has been the owner of gay nightclub Just Us Lounge in Biloxi for 20 years, and says the fight for LGBT rights is something she says she lives with every day. Fear, Koval says, won't get in her way.

"We've always dealt with the bogey man of sorts. So, no, we're not running," said Koval.

But, the club owner says she and her staff will be even more aware of security.

"It's hard not to let this change your life," Koval said. We're going to try desperately to hold on to our life, but yet going forward in a very vigilant way."

In the middle of Gay Pride events throughout the country, a reason for celebration has become a reason to worry.

"We're in an upside down all over and it's sad that it's come to that. But, it's time that somebody does something even as an individual just try to come together, you know," said Van Mclaughlin.

Mclaughlin says he had second thoughts about coming to the bar on this day, but did it anyway.

Caleb White is straight, but he feels the hurt as much as anyone.

"It's just times like this people need to come together. They need to come together, straight, gay, bi, confused, whatever. OK. Come together and realize this is a travesty and it's a tragedy, all of the above. And I'm just happy it doesn't happen every day," said White.

Koval has closed her club only once when Katrina struck, but within the week, she plans to close for 24 hours in honor of those who lost their lives in Orlando and in hopes of opening a discourse on where to go from here.

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