In what is becoming an iconic photo taken by the Boston Globe, police officer Javier Pagan (far right) is pictured at the scene of the explosion Monday. Boston Marathon runner Bill Iffrig, 78, is on the ground.
Gay Bostonians React to Bombing

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com April 16 2013 1:53 PM ET

As seen in what is becoming an iconic photo of the terror that interrupted the Boston Marathon Monday, the gay community liaison for the Boston Police Department, Javier Pagan, was among the early responders.

According to Boston Pride, Pagan was standing right where the flags were when the bomb went off. Meanwhile, Alden Clark, a member of the Boston chapter of the LGBT running organization Front Runners, said about 40 to 50 members of the group were competing in Monday's race. Front Runners Boston is the city's first LGBT running club, established in 1979.

"As far as I know everyone is OK," he said on the International Front Runners' Facebook page. "Very crazy tragic event here. My house is about 8 blocks from the finish line, and I had just come back from watching to prepare for the post race party at my place. So we watched the news and waited for everyone to check in."

Leaders from the Federation of Gay Games released a statement, saying they were shocked by the incident that day.

"We fight for sport to be a safe space for everyone to express themselves, which makes this breaking story even more devastating," a statement read.

Kilian Melloy, a gay Boston Marathon volunteer and reporter, told the Boston Edge that the day of the marathon is typically a local "high holy day" for runners and nonrunners alike. He was away from the finish line but had to evacuate his post shortly after the bombs went off.

"If the goal of terrorism is to terrify, then the best defense against terrorism is to deny the perpetrators the satisfaction of making us afraid," he wrote in the Boston Edge. "Terrorism only works if we allow ourselves to be terrorized. There is absolutely no way in hell I am going to allow anyone to terrorize me. I’m furious, enraged, saddened; I think of the brave athletes I worked with this afternoon, people of spirit and fortitude who came from all over this nation and from around the world. People I felt honored to serve, people I felt proud to host in this, my city. One of them was a veteran who had served in our recent wars; I had thanked him for his service to our country. How disappointed he must be, I thought, to have fought far from home and endured so much only to come home and see this happen on a day marked out for athleticism and conviviality."