SAN ANTONIO - Yards away from the tragic Thursday shooting that claimed the life of an SAPD officer and wounded another, San Antonio Pride organizers gathered to finalize preparations for this weekend's pride festivities.
They say that it's tragedies like this that highlight why celebrations of love are so important.
"Try to keep our spirits up high for all those who passed before and all of us who are able to celebrate in their honor. I think this would be a great weekend for us to remember our fallen SAPD officer," pride performer Annette Flores said.
Organizers say that, given the tragedy and the current political climate where they feel dangerous rhetoric has become part of the discourse, it's more important than ever to spread the message of equality.
"It's very different this year because there are so many initiatives against the LGBT community that are being put in place by elected officials that we know, that we need to stand up for our rights," said Phillip Barcena, president of Pride San Antonio.
Last year, San Antonio's pride festival happened just weeks after the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that claimed the lives of 50 people. Because of the tragedies so close to the festival, organizers say that safety is always their top priority.
"We know that the issue of terroristic threats is always abound now that we're always being vigilant, but we know that the sheriff's department as well as SAPD always have us in their best interests as well as protecting all citizens," Barcena said.
Organizers are committed to not letting hate outshine their message of love.
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