Threats Against the LGBT Community Have Put West Hollywood on Edge - NBC Southern California

Threats Against the LGBT Community Have Put West Hollywood on Edge

The FBI is reviewing recent threats and the LA County Sheriff's Department has stepped up patrols.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Threats Keep WeHo on Edge

    A series of threats have West Hollywood on edge in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 17, 2016. (Published Friday, June 17, 2016)

    West Hollywood is on edge following a series of threats made against the LGBT community -- including a bomb threat at the offices of Grindr, a gay dating app, and online threats made against a popular drag performer.

    Misty Violet, one of LA's top drag performers, hosted a fundraising event Tuesday at The Abbey to raise money for the victims of the Orlando shootings.

    As the event was broadcast online over Periscope, several threats were made, including one that said "You guys are next" followed by six gun emojis, and another that said "I wish you were in Orlando."

    "It gets you in your gut," Misty said.

    Misty said the threats shine a light on the hatred many in the LGBT community have faced for years.

    "I need everybody to see this, and everybody to see that this is real. And whether it was a joke or not, that people still think it's OK to talk to our community like that," Misty said.

    The FBI is reviewing the threats and the LA County Sheriff's Department has stepped up patrols in West Hollywood.

    The community has been on edge all week following the Orlando attacks and the arrest of James Howell in Santa Monica. The Indiana man was caught on his way to the pride parade with weapons and explosive materials in his car.

    Then this week, somebody posted signs around West Hollywood that say "shoot back."

    Misty said the threats have cast a dark cloud over WeHo's nightlife.

    "I mean, I work in clubs every night So really my behavior has changed since last week. That's what it is, you're just more aware. Always knowing where your exits are, which is sad. But I think we're all doing it," Misty said.

    The LGBT Center has increased security and made counselors available for anybody who might be afraid.

    "It's not surprising -- we want people to if they see something, say something. If anything looks suspicious, you know, be vigilant. But don't let it paralyze you," said Dave Garcia, the LA LGBT Center director.

    Misty Violet will host another event on Friday at midnight. Members of the LGBT community will gather at the Penthouse Nightclub - across the street to The Abbey - for a vigil to honor the Orlando victims.

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