One year after Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub shooting: Victims’ relatives still mourn

One year following the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, which is associated with the city’s LGBTQ community, families of the murder victims still find it difficult to grasp. Aside from their losses, many families refuse to accept that their late sons belonged to the LGBTQ community. In one case, parents refused to take their son’s body: the only shooting victim whose identity has not been released.
Families still find shooting difficult to grasp Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

One year has passed since the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people were brutally murdered and the victims’ relatives still find it difficult to grasp the magnitude of this tragedy. Dozens of parents recall the horrific moment that their phones dialed, but nobody was there to answer on the other end. Several of them not only find it difficult to mourn the loss, but are also filled with rage.

The nightclub where the ISIS-claimed terror attack occurred is associated with Orlando’s LGBTQ community and a majority of the victims were also a part of it. As a result, many parents not only found it difficult to deal with their loss, but also with discovering their children’s sexual orientation. “It was one of those things brought to light by what happened in Pulse, one of the things many people in the Orlando community didn’t know was happening at all,” stated María Padilla, a journalist who is part of Orlando’s large Puerto Rican community, regarding the socially conservative Puerto Rican families who only discovered their sons’ sexual orientations after their deaths.

Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan says that she had conversations with confused parents who asked the same question: “What was our son doing in that club with that man?” During a conversation that she held with one of the murder victim’s fathers, the only one whose name has not been released, Sheehan discovered that the family still had no idea that their son was homosexual until his murder at the nightclub.

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