VIDEO: 2012 gun violence survivor Kristene Chapa speaks at #WeAreOrlando vigil

Since surviving an execution-style shooting in a Texas park four years ago, Kristene Chapa has dedicated herself to healing physically and emotionally from the attack's severe wounds and the loss of her girlfriend, Mollie Olgin, who died at the scene. But she is also committed to standing publicly against violence, particularly violence against fellow LGBT community members.

She is working with a writer on a book to tell her story in print, she shared her experiences on stage at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, and last night, she spoke at a vigil in Corpus Christi to honor the victims who lost their lives in an attack of historic proportions at Latin Night in Orlando's Pulse club. In 2012, vigils were held nationwide as prayers were sent for her survival and recovery. Now, she is paying it forward.

In her gripping and honest speech, of which GLAAD has video, Kris told the large crowd, united in solidarity:

Hello. My name is Kristene Chapa. Some of you may have heard my name, others may have not. Like the victims in Orlando, I was attacked by a gunman and left for dead. My girlfriend, Mollie Olgin, and I were both shot in the head. Tragically, Mollie did not make it. When I lost Mollie, my whole world came crashing down. Every single part of me hurt.

Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando was a horrible massacre. Parents should not have to bury their children. I know this tragedy has scared a lot of LGBT people. I will never understand how someone can kill innocent people as if they’re nothing! As if they are not human beings! Each person who died in Orlando was somebody's loved one!

Having a gun pointed at you is an awful experience. Praying you will make it. Fearing you will not see your loved ones again. Knowing this is it, you are going to die. So scared you need to throw up. Your heart beating so fast you feel like it's going to jump out of your chest.

After I was shot, doctors told my family I could die within 24-hours. But I survived and slowly began to recover. Even after I learned to walk again, I was terrified to go out in public. Scared to go to the mall or the movies. But one day, I woke up and told myself: I cannot be afraid the rest of my life. I have a second chance to live!

After Orlando, we must turn to faith and love. Fear and hatred will not save us. We must come together and fight for each other. Stand side by side. Because what good is a life lived in fear? That would be giving the terrorists what they want. We have to trust in God and live our lives to the fullest! 

You can watch the full video of her speech here:

Video courtesy of Mark Martinez & Kristene Chapa

For years, GLAAD has been working with Kristene and her advocates in Texas and around the country to bring attention and support to her message. Kristene and Mollie's story has captured the attention of local and national media, including an MSNBC Originals episode from December 2014. Her alleged attacker is set to go to trial this fall. The ‪#‎justice4krisandmollie movement has continued to grow. You can join in the support by visiting, tweeting with the hashtag #justice4krisandmollie, or donating to Kristene's Go Fund Me page.

GLAAD stands in solidarity with Florida’s LGBTQ community and is working to support the efforts of Equality Florida. Check out a list of resources Equality Florida has provided for those seeking information or who wish to offer their support here