Utica- ACR Health and the YWCA Mohawk Valley held the first "Light up the night" at the Stanley to educate the public on Sexual Violence in the LGBTQ Community.
Organizers for the event provided people with food, booths and a drag show to enhance the educational experience.
Laura Howard who helped put together the event said staying current on these issues are important. "Certain communities are more vulnerable to sexual violence, the statistics tells us alot about this, but anyone can be a victim or a survivor of sexual violence," said Howard.
Another organizer for the event said he's been through issues being a part of the LGBTQ community. "I grew up in the Rome, Utica area and went to high school locally and I feel like there wasn't space for me. I'm a queer transgender man who is 29 years old and in this area, I didn't feel I had support, I didn't feel like I could stay, um growing up all I wanted to do was move away," said Elliott Sharrow with ACR Health and organizer for the event.
Sharrow said he wants the people to know there are services out there to help those who need it. "Keeping the community educated really helps to make people feel safer. Raising awareness around any topic helps to alleviate that stigma."
Both Sharrow and Howard said they plan to have another "Light up the Night" soon.