This week, two teens – Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, and Christine Chapa, 18 - were shot in Portland, Texas. The crime has sent shock waves through the LGBT community around the country as family, friends and concerned citizens try to make sense of the crime.
Since being gunned down, Olgin has died and Chapa remains in the hospital, with little known about why the two young women were targeted, though investigators are saying the crime could be motivated by bias. Both were found in a grassy area by a couple the morning following the shooting.
“I was heartbroken when I first read about the girls in Texas,” says Kate Hinchey, who’s working with the Dyke March on last-minute details for Friday’s event. “It is still so unclear if the motive was their relationship, but I still believe we have to stand up against violence against women.”
The vigil gets started tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in Love Park with an open mic to encourage women to speak out against violence. There will also be a moment of silence for both victims, and a lighting of candles in their honor.
“I think we need more mainstream news coverage of actual brutalities,” says Hinchey. “We hear so much about the gay marriage debate and very little on actual violence and harassment. We also need anti-bullying programs in our schools. Tolerance and acceptance has to start in our schools and homes if we want the next generation to face less discrimination.”
Based on the response on Facebook, Hinchey anticipates at least 100 or more to turn out for the vigil. “We will have cards to sign to send to the families of the victims and Christine in the hospital,” she says. “Anyone is free to speak out.”