Metro Inclusive Health, The Dru Project to present ‘Stonewall to Pulse’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Inclusive Health and The Dru Project will present “Stonewall to Pulse: A Community Discussion” June 26, an inter-generational event featuring panelists who have experienced LGBTQ milestones firsthand.

The presentation “brings together individuals who experienced some of the most significant events, movements and moments in LGBTQ+ history,” the organizations announced June 1, “including the Stonewall Riots, Pulse Massacre, participation in ACT UP AIDS activism and the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard.”

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Florida lawmakers call for Pulse to be named National Memorial Site

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Darren Soto (FL-09) and Val Demings (FL-10) announced they would like Congress to establish the Pulse nightclub as a federally recognized National Memorial Site.

Pulse owner Barbara Poma joined the Orlando-area representatives at a press conference held at the Pulse interim memorial June 10, two days before the three-year mark of the shooting.

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Never again, but why now?

By : Jamie Hyman
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In the weeks since a shooter killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., survivors have been featured in a town hall on national television, visited the Florida Legislature and led a march of more than a million protesters nationwide, demanding sensible gun control.

In the weeks following the shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016, the levels of advocacy and response were far more muted, which is forcing members of the LGBTQ community to wonder why, after a mass shooting that at the time was the deadliest in U.S. history, government officials, the media and the nation failed to rally behind the Pulse survivors with the volume and intensity that are leading millions to take action today.

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Gun control rallies take place in Florida, across U.S., around the world

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A participant in a “March for Our Lives” rally in Tampa, Fla., on March 24, 2018, holds a sign in homage of Emma González, a bisexual student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who has emerged as a vocal gun control advocate after a gunman killed 17 people inside her school last month. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

TAMPA, Fla. — Hundreds of “March for Our Lives” gun control rallies, marches and protests took place across the U.S. and around the world on Saturday.

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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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Pride Fund To End Gun Violence looks to the November mid-terms for answers

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pride Fund To End Gun Violence founder and executive director Jason Lindsay remembers in detail the moment he decided to start the organization.

“It all began the day of Pulse,” Lindsay recalls. “I was watching the news like so many other people and saw the tragedy unfold and a pivotal moment was seeing a mom, Christine Leinonen, who was waiting to find out whether her son had survived or not, and she pleaded in a clip that’s been played over and over again asking for somebody to please do something about the assault weapons.”

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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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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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Mother of Pulse victim to speak at Democratic National Convention

By : Nicole Dudenhoefer
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nadine1Christine Leinonen, a mother who lost her son in the Pulse nightclub shooting, will speak at the Democratic National Convention July 27.

Although she is not listed on the official DNC schedule, Leinonen is expected to take the stage at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 8:00 p.m., according to an Equality Florida Facebook post. Pulse survivors Jose Arriagada and Brandon Wolf will also join her.

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Mothers’ Talk: Parental desperation over a terrible incident

By : Billy Manes
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There are still many unknowns about June 12’s incident at Pulse in Orlando. The narratives are disparate, there may have been an international angle, a homophobic angle, a marriage angle. We can’t know, and the more we scratch at that wound, the worse we are for it.

But there are stories of what has happened since, and the most heart-wrenching involve the victims’ mothers.

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