Pulse survivor accepts position at Equality Florida

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | Brandon Wolf, a 30-year-old Pulse survivor and LGBTQ activist, recently accepted a full-time position at Equality Florida as the Central Florida development officer and the statewide media relations manager. He says he is happy to pursue his interest on a scale larger than “weekend activism.”

“Equality Florida and I have always had a really strong relationship,” Wolf says. “There’s so much I want to be able to do to help my community and the state of Florida.”

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PHOTOS: Voting is the message of the night at Equality Florida’s Greater Orlando Gala

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Equality Florida had a huge turnout for its Greater Orlando Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art Nov. 2, and its message to everyone in attendance: “Get out and vote this Tuesday!”

The event was a who’s who of Central Florida’s LGBTQ, Democrat and progressive communities. The crowd watched as Pulse survivor and gun safety advocate Brandon Wolf was awarded the Voice For Equality Award and Michael Thomas of John Michael Exquisite Weddings and Events accepted the Equality Means Business Award.

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Hurricane Michael devastates Fla. Panhandle’s LGBT community

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Members of the Florida Panhandle’s LGBT community are trying to pick up the pieces from Hurricane Michael that devastated the region earlier this month.

The LGBTQ Center of Bay County, which board secretary Cherie Crim described to the Washington Blade on Oct. 22 during a telephone interview as Bay County’s “first safe space” for LGBT youth, rented a room at an Episcopal church in Panama City.

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Pulse survivor challenges Disney to cease support for NRA-friendly gubernatorial candidate

By : Layla Ferris
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ORLANDO | Pulse nightclub shooting survivor Brandon Wolf is calling for Walt Disney World to “stop supporting NRA sellouts” such as Adam Putnam, a Republican running for Florida governor in the 2018 election.

Wolf denounced Disney’s contributions toward Putnam’s campaign in a video released with media company NowThis on June 12, two years after the Pulse nightclub shooting.

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Pulse Activist: I ‘misspoke,’ Pence wants gays in ‘conversion camps’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Under fire from the right-wing media for comments he made about Vice President Mike Pence wanting gays in “concentration camps,” one of the survivors of the 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub now says he “misspoke.”

Brandon Wolf — who’s now head of the Dru Project, an organization that supports GSAs in schools — told the Washington Blade via email on Monday he intended to say Pence wants gay people in “conversion camps” to subject them to the widely discredited practice of “ex-gay” conversion therapy.

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Community leaders take to social media to remember the victims after Pulse gunman’s wife found not guilty

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Noor Salmon, the wife of the Pulse gunman, was acquitted March 30 of charges that linked her to the nightclub shooting.

Salmon was charged with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization.

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Widow of Pulse gunman acquitted

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A jury on Friday acquitted Noor Salman of charges that she helped her husband carry out the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Federal prosecutors charged Salman with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization in connection with the June 12, 2016, shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. Salman’s trial began earlier this month at a federal courthouse in downtown Orlando that is roughly two miles from the Pulse nightclub.

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Pulse survivors invoke LGBT victims at March For Our Lives

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin joins Pulse survivors at the March For Our Lives. Blade photo by Wyatt Reid.

Survivors of the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., took part Saturday in the March For Our Lives with heavy hearts as they remembered the 49 people killed that night, but they also expressed optimism about the potential for change.

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The Dru Project officially launches at The Abbey

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Dru Project got its official launch at The Abbey June 11 among friends, family and supporters of Drew Leinonen, one of the 49 people killed at the Pulse tragedy last year.

The Abbey was packed with media and activist as some of the founders of The Dru Project, including Drew’s mother Christine Leinonen and his best friend Brandon Wolf, spoke to the crowd.

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Watermark’s 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark has chosen those who stood out from the LGBTQ community – 16 remarkable individuals who made a mark in 2016; whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

It has been a difficult year for all of us, both politically and personally, and those we have selected have made the most change, been the most inspiring and helped to make our LGBTQ community that much stronger in the face of adversity.

Below, our 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16.

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Survival of the Kindest: After enduring the attack on Pulse, Brandon Wolf is living his life out loud and for his departed friends

By : Billy Manes
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It’s almost impossible to imagine the grief carried by Brandon Wolf, a Pulse survivor who lost his greatest friends. But there’s something about Wolf – some unexpected, well-versed resilience – that makes outside imagination seem ridiculous, anyway.

Wolf, who has become a voice against gun violence, and indeed a hero in his own right, lost friends Drew Leinonen and Drew’s boyfriend Juan Guerrero in June as he had run off to the bathroom. The details aren’t necessary, but Wolf is. Outside of Pulse six months later, he’s quick to turn ornaments around on a makeshift tree so that the faces of the 49 are shown.

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