Open Letter to Pulse from Indivisible Gainesville

We remember the dark and terrifying night of the Pulse shootings as if it were yesterday. We remember hoping that our friends would check in on Facebook as “safe.” We remember the relief as we saw the number of people checking in as “safe” grow, but the horrifying realization that so many were still “unsafe.”

In the year that has followed, we questioned how could our world change in just an instant. We questioned how anyone could be so hateful.  We questioned our lawmakers as to why they would not take any steps to prevent a person who the FBI investigated twice for ties to terrorist groups and a history of domestic violence to legally purchase a gun.  A gun that would forever change the lives of so many.

We know that Pulse was a safe space where the LGBTQ+ community would come together and celebrate the freedom to express their authentic self.  Indivisible Gainesville is dedicated to continuing to make both heart and policy changes so that everywhere is a safe space.

We also reach out to those of you who are still recovering. Some of you are still recovering physically from the wounds of that day. We are so glad you are with us, and we want to encourage you to keep going.  We mourn with those who are recovering from the trauma of violence and hate. We understand that part of the tremendous pain is the loss of what will now never be. We stand with you in deep mourning as we consider the great loss to humankind.

We would like to close with remembering those who lost their lives that day. They had hopes, dreams, families, friends. They were people. They were more than what the shooter did. Their names were:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda L. Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Jean Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean Carlos Nieves Rodríguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37 years old
Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velázquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

Our love is with all those who mourn, with all those who take action, with all those who stand in solidarity.  

To find more events surrounding Pulse and our LGBTQAI+ community in general, check out this calendar: gaypridecalendar.com

~Indivisible Gainesville

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