Orlando-area residents affected by gun violence join Pride Fund Board

By : Chelsea Santiago
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While Orlando still reels from the attack on Pulse nightclub, several Orlando residents are taking action. In a press release early September, Pride Fund Board of Advisors said they were thrilled to have five new members join to help fight for commonsense gun reforms.

One of those members is the owner of the late Pulse Nightclub, Barbara Poma, who created Pulse as a safe space for the LGBT community.

“We chose the name ‘Pulse’ to celebrate life in this safe space, and that was violated in an unimaginable way,” Poma said in the press release, “I’m working with Pride Fund to support candidates that want to fight the gun lobby so we can reclaim our safe spaces: our night clubs, our movie theaters, our schools.”

Billy Manes, Editor-in-Chief of LGBT magazine Watermark; Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse shooting; and Celia Ruiz and Siclaly “Laly” Santiago-Leon, both of whom lost loved ones during the Pulse shooting; have also joined the board for Pride Fund to End Gun Violence PAC.

“I know now that 85 percent of suicide attempts by firearm result in death, while only 2 percent of suicide attempts by overdose result in loss of life,” Manes, who lost his husband when he committed suicide with a firearm, said in the press release, “Pride Fund is supporting candidates who want to tackle the big issues at the intersection of gun control, LGBT violence and mental health, making our communities safer for everyone.”

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