After Orlando shooter Omar Mateen opened fire at an LGBT nightclub, Pulse, many wondered how and if the different pride marches will be affected. According to GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, Gay Pride Month and its celebrations will continue as planned.
Although this tragedy has made the LGBT community more cautious, Ellis said in a statement that they will continue to march as they always have.
“It’s not going to stop us but I think it will end up beefing up security and we’ll be much more cautious, but this will not stop us.”
— KatamiZarrillo (@KatamiZarrillo) June 13, 2016
She continued as follows.
“If fear is the end game, we’re not taking that. We’re going to continue to march on and we have for a very long time.”
Ellis is currently on her way to Orlando to speak to the press, “to make sure that it’s crystal clear that this was an attack on the LGBTQ community.”
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) June 12, 2016
When the news hit on Sunday morning of the massacre, the pride parade in Los Angeles went as planned, but not without some danger. A man named James Wesley Howell was arrested when he was found with guns. Sources say he had plans to attend the LA Pride Parade and Festival.
The Orlando shooting is not just one isolated incident against the LGBT community. Over the decades we have seen attacks on the LGBT community both in groups and single attacks. It’s so prevalent that President Obama signed “the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act,” which made it against the law to discriminate and commit crimes based on bias against a victim’s perceived gender, sexual orientation or disability.
The label “hate crime” came to fruition after the heinous death of Matthew Shepard in 1998. Shepard, an openly gay man, was beaten and left for dead on a fence in Wyoming after striking up conversation with two men at a bar.
Of the history of the LGBT and the adversity they face as a community, Ellis said the following.
“Every day we live with fear of violence and murder in the LGBTQ community. The actual size of this one is enormous, but we have people in our community threatened with violence and murder on a daily basis.”
It’s reported that the shooter, Omar Mateen’s father Seddique Mir Mateen, said Omar saw two men kissing in Miami a month before he opened fire. He said that he was “enraged” by the affection the two men showed each other.
“We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid, and he got very angry. They were kissing each other and touching each other, and he said: ‘Look at that. In front of my son, they are doing that.’ And then we were in the men’s bathroom, and men were kissing each other.”
He continued as follows.
“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion.”
Daniel Gilroy, who spoke to NBC, described Mateen, a former co-worker, as belligerent and racist. He said that Mateen, “always referred to every other race, religion, gender in a derogatory way,” Gilroy added. “He did not like black people at all. That was mentioned once or twice, but more so was women. He did not like women at all. He did like women in a sexual way, but he did not respect them.”
Mateen’s massacre has left 50 people dead, 53 injured, and a nation in mourning. Forty-six victims out of the 50 have been identified as of June 13, 2016, 1:55 p.m. EST.
The victims’ names are as follows.
- Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
- Stanley Almodovar III, 23
- Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
- Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
- Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
- Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
- Luis S. Vielma, 22
- Kimberly Morris, 37
- Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
- Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
- Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
- Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
- Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
- Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
- Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
- Amanda Alvear, 25
- Martin Benitez Torres, 33
- Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
- Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
- Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
- Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
- Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
- Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26
- Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25
- Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
- Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
- Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
- Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
- Cory James Connell, 21
- Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
- Luis Daniel Conde, 39
- Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
- Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
- Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
- Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
- Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
- Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
- Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
- Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
- Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
- Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24
- Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
- Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
- Frank Hernandez, 27
- Paul Terrell Henry, 41
- Antonio Davon Brown, 29
[Photo by AP Photo/Richard Vogel]