The massacre in Orlando this week hit close to home for many in Boston’s LGBT community. One institution at the center of that community is Fenway Health, which offers everything from primary care to psychologists. About half of the health center’s 30,000 patients identify as LGBT.

Sean Cahill said a lot of the staff at Fenway Health were at Boston’s gay pride parade on Saturday.

“And so, you know, it was a wonderful positive day, and then waking up Sunday it was really shocking," he said. "It was traumatic.  And we’re all trying to process what’s going on the last couple days. We’re just trying to make sense of it.”

Cahill directs health policy research at Fenway Institute, an advocacy and research division of Fenway Health. He says before news broke of the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, they had  planned to put out a report on Monday, “that looks at the wave of anti-LGBT laws that have been introduced and passed in many states around the country," Cahill said. "So we’ve had about 200 new laws introduced since the beginning of January in 32 states around the country.”

Cahill said many of those laws target health services for the LGBT community “Saying that a counselor can refuse to provide services to a gay man, or a transgender woman, or a lesbian couple.”  Like denying them fertility services, for example.

“Even though I don’t think there’s necessarily a causal link between all those anti-gay laws being considered and passed around the country and what this terrorist did in Orlando, I think it’s important context,” Cahill said.

Whenever we see progress, he said, like greater legal equality for a group, there’s often a backlash, and he thinks that’s what’s happening now.

Cahill said things are better here. “Massachusetts has been at the forefront of LGBT equality since the 1980s, really since the 1970s.”

But, he said, although the motives for the Orlando shooting aren’t confirmed yet, what happened there is scary here, too.

“I think we all feel very vulnerable at the moment, you know? We have all gone to gay bars, enjoy going to festivities, So I think we all feel vulnerable, and we know that we are, in particular, a group that’s going to be singled out for attack.”

It’s a threat too many people here know all too well.

Cara Presley, the manager of the Violence Recovery Program at Fenway Health, said the program sees about 50 patients a year who have experienced hate violence or discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Some people come to us because they are reeling emotionally from the events that occurred, and they want to process that, they want to seek support, they want validation, so we’ll provide counseling- supportive counseling, psychotherapy – help them talk through and work through what they’ve gone through,” she said. Others want help taking action – filing a complaint against someone who’s discriminated against them, or filing a police report or protective order.

Presley said although her patients are horrified by what happened in Orlando, they’re not really surprised by it.

“So there is the unfortunate reality in the world where we work and the people that we serve that hatred and discrimination and violence against them because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity are an every-day experience,” Presley said.

She said it’s going to take some time for the community she works with to process what happened in Orlando. “But certainly, this is going to hit home for so many people, and it’s going to stir up feelings of distress, it’s going to stir up memories of their own experience that will be upsetting.”

And when they do see those patients, she says, they’ll listen to them, try to give them some coping skills, and try to help foster a community, so they can talk to one another about how they’re doing.