Pulse survivors slam Madonna’s graphic music video for ‘God Control’

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Two Pulse nightclub shooting survivors took issue with Madonna’s graphic new music video for “God Control.”

The video depicts a mass shooting at a disco nightclub in what appears to be a nod to the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 which claimed 49 lives. Madonna arrives at the club and while everyone is dancing a gunman starts shooting into the crowd and bloody bodies fall to the ground.

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Stonewall Bar Orlando honors the legacy of The Stonewall Inn in NYC

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Stonewall Bar Orlando hosting the “Win With Love Rally” on June 18. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | The history of The Stonewall Inn in New York City is easy to find these days. A quick Google search of the legendary gay bar turns up more than 31 million search results.

For Steven Watkins, who grew up in a small town, learning the history of LGBTQ people in general—let alone that of The Stonewall Inn—was nonexistent in his early years.

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Florida House candidate Elizabeth McCarthy’s credibility questioned

By : Jeremy Williams
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SANFORD, Fla. | Elizabeth McCarthy—the openly LGBTQ, Democratic candidate running for Florida House District 28, whose full legal name is Catherine Elizabeth McCarthy—has come under fire for inconsistencies about her past, most notably her claims of working as a cardiologist at Orlando Regional Medical Center on June 12, 2016 after the Pulse tragedy.

Florida Politics reported June 15, when confronted about the inconsistencies, McCarthy insisted that “Yes, I am a doctor” and “Yes, I did work the night of Pulse.”

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The Other Side Of Life: Hashtag Amity

By : Jason LeClerc
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I was recently honored to be a guest of Pulse founder Barbara Poma for an intimate talk and tour of the interim #PulseMemorial organized by Equality Florida. As regular readers of this column know, I’m Watermark’s token conservative columnist: a red soul in a sea of blue, even as I have advocated for a just-right-of-center, nuanced approach to political discourse that I call Radical Centrism.

Arguing from a position of empathy and fact-driven rationality in favor of such positions as climate change resiliency, justifiable local taxation and the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, I have riled members of my own Party. In the age of Trump, I’ve become a bit of a #RINOsaur. While there are members of the current Republican power structure who are ready to revoke my membership card for some of my #RadicalCentrist positions, my attendance of an Equality Florida event would likely push them further toward apoplexy.

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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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Tampa Bay remembers Pulse tragedy at 3-year mark

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Community advocate and allies throughout Tampa Bay will gather for events and memorials June 12, honoring those killed at the Pulse nightclub three years ago today.

We have gathered information below.

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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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City of Orlando, Orange County proclaim June 12 ‘Orlando United Day’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Artwork from Orlando County Regional History Center’s 2018 exhibit “Another Year Passes: Orlando After the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.” (Photo by Layla Ferris)

ORLANDO | Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, along with the Orlando City Commissioners and Orange County Commissioners jointly proclaimed June 12, 2019 to be “Orlando United Day.”

“As we approach the three-year mark of the Pulse tragedy, our community continues to honor the 49 innocent lives taken on June 12, 2016, and support the survivors and victims’ families,” said Dyer. “I am proud to join Mayor Demings to proclaim this June 12 as ‘Orlando United Day’ in the City of Orlando and Orange County and help show that we are still responding to that hateful act with love, compassion and unity.”

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Orange County Regional History Center opens Pulse-inspired exhibit

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | “Love Speaks: Artistic Responses to the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy,” an exhibition featuring artwork from across the nation created in the wake of the Pulse shooting opened at Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando June 8.

“These diverse works – from paintings to basketry to graphic novels – all pay tribute and serve to remember those who were taken during the tragedy and to inspire a better tomorrow for those who remain,” read the exhibits press release.

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PHOTOS: The 49 Fund announces scholarship winners at Orlando City Hall

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The 49 Fund at Central Florida Foundation announced its four scholarship recipients at a ceremony held at Orlando City Hall’s Rotunda on June 8.

Created in 2017 as a partnership between Central Florida attorney and LGBTQ activist Barry Miller and The LGBT+ Center Orlando, The 49 Fund awards scholarships of $4,900 to students who self-identify as an out member of the LGBTQ community, attend an accredited two- or four-year institution of higher learning on a full-time basis, earn a 3.0 GPA or higher and demonstrate a commitment to making Central Florida a better place.

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PHOTOS: CommUNITY Rainbow Run honors memory of the Pulse 49 with 3rd annual event

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The onePULSE Foundation’s CommUNITY Rainbow Run at Wadeview Park in Orlando had a huge turnout June 8.

The third annual event had hundreds of people walking, running and dancing for 4.9k through Orlando neighborhoods including down Orange Ave. in front of Orlando Health and the Pulse Memorial to celebrate diversity while honoring those 49 lives that were taken in the Pulse tragedy.

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NPR’s The 3 Wise Guys reflect on the three-year mark of the Pulse shooting

By : Scottie Campbell
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“The 3 Wise Guys” radio show brings together the voices of three religious leaders of seemingly disparate faiths—Imam Muhammad Musri, Rabbi Steven Engel and Reverend Bryan Fulwider—and finds common ground. The show has aired in Central Florida on 90.7 WMFE since 2012.

In the weeks following the Pulse shooting, in several episodes, The 3 Wise Guys tried to help us make sense of this senseless tragedy, providing comfort for many in the process. Watermark sat down with the trio to look at where we are now three years later. What follows is a shortened version of that conversation. An extended version will air on WMFE on June 11.

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