Before Tragedy, Orlando's Pulse Nightclub Was A Place Of Love And Acceptance
One of the more saddening aspects of what has been a tragic story coming out of Orlando, where the deadliest mass shooting in US history just occurred, is the irony of where it took place.
After initially reporting the deaths of "approximately" 20 people, Orlando Police Chief John Mina announced there were 50 deaths at the Pulse nightclub.
As USA Today notes, Pulse was created to serve the LGBT community and be a place where members of that community could feel accepted.
The club's official website states,
Being raised in a strict Italian family, being gay was frowned upon. However, when John came out to his family and friends, the family dynamic transitioned from a culture of strict tradition to one of acceptance and love. It was important to create an atmosphere that embraced the gay lifestyle with décor that would make John proud. Most importantly, (we) coined the name Pulse for John's heartbeat — as a club that is John's inspiration, where he is kept alive in the eyes of his friends and family.
Now, the cruel irony that saw a safe haven for a community become a place where people appear to have been targeted has become a bitter pill for some to swallow.
Truly devastated. A gay bar is a place the LGBT community can go to feel safe. My heart goes out to the victims & families.#PrayForOrlando — Scott Hoying (@scotthoying) June 12, 2016
A common theme that has developed in many reactions across social media has been people noting gay bars are one of the few places LGBT members could feel safe.
Sadly, at place that was specifically designed to engender a feeling of acceptance, that safety was stolen away in Orlando.