PHOTOS: Dedication of the Pulse Memorial Labyrinth

By : Maia Monet
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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Pulse owner Barbara Poma, Pulse survivors, and members of law enforcement joined with LGBTQ citizens and allies for the dedication of the Pulse Memorial Labyrinth at Colonialtown Square Park on Dec 21.

The Orlando United rainbow heart at the center of the memorial is surrounded by the labyrinth outlined in brick. The outer edge is made up of 49 equal pieces of granite inscribed in gold with the names of each Pulse victim. After the dedication and a request to hold hands for a group prayer, those gathered were invited to walk the labyrinth in memory of those lost in the tragedy.

More photos of the proceedings after the jump and video clips have been posted to the Watermark Instagram page.

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Orlando mayor honors Transgender Awareness Week

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer honored Transgender Awareness Week by displaying the Orlando city flag in the trans flag colors.

Dyer posted the picture on Twitter Nov. 17, writing “It’s #TransWeek and I am proud to support our Transgender community because everyone deserves to be treated equally.”

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LGBT groups renew gun control debate as gunman kills more than 20 people in Texas church

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A man on Sunday killed 26 people when he opened fire in a Texas church.

The San Antonio Express-News reported the gunman walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a town that is roughly 35 miles east of San Antonio. The newspaper cited local officials who said 15-20 people were wounded.

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Orlando to create rainbow crosswalk near Pulse

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | A permanent rainbow crosswalk near the site of Pulse has been approved by the Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Orlando.

The crosswalk will be on West Esther St. off South Orange Ave. going from Pulse to the Dunkin’ Donuts located across the street.

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The GLBT Center of Central Florida celebrates its new renovation with ribbon cutting, open house

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The GLBT Center of Central Florida reopened their doors after a nearly three year renovation with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house Aug. 31.

The event was well attended by local and state officials, members of the community and media as Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy spoke to the crowd and then cut the ribbon officially opening The Center.

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Looking back on a gay nightclub that almost wasn’t; looking forward after a massacre

By : Alma J. Hill
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The news coverage of Pulse is a 24-hour cycle of tragedy. Again and again, readers are forced to relive chaos and carnage. Images of the battered wall fill our news feeds, and the faces of the 49 float in and out of our consciousness on a regular basis. Bodies in corners, mothers crying in cars, candles in the rain; remembering Pulse has come to almost exclusively mean reliving the events of June 12th.

Rarely is the legacy of the club discussed. As an LGBTQ friendly space that had been operational for well over a decade, Pulse represented many firsts for Orlando. It was the first Orlando nightclub to feature a space even remotely similar to its famed futuristic white room (that changed colors). In 2013, it became one of the first gay clubs in Central Florida to give a Saturday night home to a Latin night. The club’s opulent interior garnered national attention, earning Pulse coverage in both Club and Mondo magazines.

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Finding Our Pulse: We Are One Orlando

By : Buddy Dyer
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One year ago, a deranged killer walked into the Pulse nightclub and targeted members of our LGBTQ community on Latin Night. When the horror was over, 49 of our friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, had been taken from us.

As our community reflects back on the past year, much is going to be made of reliving the tragedy, and retelling the stories of the victims and their families as we honor them.

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Editor’s Desk 6.1.17

By : Billy Manes
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For most of us, it’s been the year of our discontent: a slack-jawed reckoning with a grief that stretches city and countywide, a mourning that, for 12 months, confounded and consumed the entire world.

Even the uncomfortable cultural things that swarm in after the bomb drops – helicopters and newscasters and national media hovering around each tear we’ve been able to drop, each one of those drying our wells of stamina and breaking our private slouches – have served as difficult oil clouding our water. But never once have they cracked our resolve. Orlando strong? Yes. Orlando hurt? More than you can even imagine.

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This morning’s announcement of the Pulse memorial was short on information, full of emotion

By : Billy Manes
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This morning, May 4, 2017, a pall fell over the inside of the tribute gates of the oft-visited Pulse Orlando nightclub, where thousands have paid their respects to the 49 killed on June 12, 2016. The event was announced nearly a week before, but the details of what was going on were amorphous at best. The Pulse site would become a permanent memorial, the original April 25 press release read, leaving out any finite details.

“Pulse has always been a part of me, but after this tragedy which took 49 lives, it became a part of this community and the world,’’ Poma explained in the press release. “When this event happened, I had no clue how expansive the love for Pulse was. It’s important that we as a community be mindful and take great care to preserve, honor and help heal.”

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Pulse owner Barbara Poma will not sell the nightclub to the city for memorial (Updated)

By : Billy Manes
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In a bit of unexpected Monday morning news, Pulse Orlando owner Barbara Poma has decided that she would not accept the city of Orlando’s bid of $2.25 million for the property, even after weeks of Mayor Buddy Dyer calling the transaction an effective done deal.

There are a lot of questions about what that means for the space in the future, and we have calls out to all interested parties. But the Orlando Sentinel reports that a statement was released by Poma’s attorney this morning that detailed a change in course. She “can’t just walk away,” it reads, because Pulse “means so very much to my family and to our community.

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Community leaders on moving forward after tragedy

By : Compiled by Billy Manes
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We reached out to several community leaders for their commentary on moving forward.

Here are some excerpts from their responses.

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City of Orlando to establish permanent Pulse memorial

By : Alex Storer
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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced in a June 24 press release that the City will establish a permanent memorial for victims of the Pulse shooting.

“We stand committed to creating a permanent space that will preserve the memory of those who lost their lives, provide comfort to those who seek it and honor the spirit and love of our great city,” Dyer says.

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