Orlando Massacre: Time for Healing and Coming Together (Latino Commission on Aids)

Orlando Massacre:  Time for Healing and Coming Together (Latino Commission on Aids)
It’s been a week since we learned about the Orlando Massacre at Pulse Night Club on an evening highly attended by Latino LGBTQ brothers and sisters. This act has created devastation and consternation beyond the LGBTQ and Latino communities, while claiming the lives of 49 LGBTQ people and allies, and injuring more than 50 others. One particular community hit hard is the Puerto Rican LGBTQ community. The Orlando massacre has carved deep wounds into the heart of the nation’s LGBTQ, Puerto Rican and Latino communities. We are grateful for the community response and quick action from service providers on this attack but we also are aware that much more needs to be done. We need to create awareness on hate crimes and discrimination targeted to people based on race/ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation and gender identity and find ways to address homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia within our society.
Our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and wounded. At times like these, it’s more important than ever to hold our loved ones close, have compassion, and show the world that we stand together against hate, not divided against each other. We are grieving for the victims and our hearts are broken for their friends, families, and for the entire community. This tragedy has occurred as our community comes together for Pride month, and now more than ever we must come together as a nation to affirm that love conquers hate.

“More than 90 percent of the fatalities are young Latino LGBTQ, 23 from the Puerto Rican community, as well as many recent Latino immigrants and new arrivals who were battling discrimination, stigma, homophobia and transphobia in their places of origin. We are trying to come together to deal with the fear and consequences of this act. An attack of this magnitude ripples into every corner of Latino and LGBTQ communities. I call all of us to come together and work together to say no to hate speech, discrimination of any kind and to condemn any act of violence against anyone”-stated Guillermo Chacón, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS and founder of the Hispanic Health Network. “This is a moment where a call of action is needed to address transphobia and homophobia, to bring attention to the impact on the Latino community and many communities of color, and to move towards healing of our own communities. Now more than ever, it’s important that we be present at Pride events in localities throughout the nation to pay tribute to those we lost on 6/12.”

The Names and Faces of the Lives Lost
Love Orlando Strong Stanley Almodovar III, 23
Stanley would have been 24 this month. He worked as a pharmacy technician.
Love Orlando Strong Amanda Alvear, 25
Amanda was a fashonista who died with her close friend Mercedes Marisol Flores
Love Orlando Strong Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26
Oscar lived with boyfriend and fellow victim Simon Fernandez at their home in Kissimmee with three chihuahuas and was also attending university. He and Fernandez had just returned from a trip to Niagara Falls.
Love Orlando Strong Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Rodolfo attended InterAmerican San German and worked as a biologics assistant at OneBlood.
Love Orlando Strong Antonio Davon Brown, 29
Captain Brown was a captain in the Army Reserve and a graduate of Florida A&M University. He served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Love Orlando Strong Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
Darryl worked as a financial aid officer at Keiser University.
Love Orlando Strong Angel Luis Candelario-Padro, 28
Angel Luis was an ophtalmic technician at the Florida Retina Institute. He also worked as a Zumba instructor.
Love Orlando Strong Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Martinez was a one of three Mexican nationals who died during the Pulse nightclub attack. He worked as a housekeeping supervisor for APDC Services.
Love Orlando Strong Luis Daniel Conde, 39
Luis died with his husband and business partner Juan Rivera. He was a makeup artist.
Love Orlando Strong Cory James Connell, 21
Cory was at Pulse with friends celebrating his birthday. His friend Jerald Wright was also killed that night. Cory worked at Publix and was studying sports journalism/broadcasting at Valencia Community College.
Love Orlando Strong Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
Tevin owned his own marketing business. He was visiting the city and was out with friends when he was shot and killed.
Love Orlando Strong Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
Deonka worked as a bartender at Pulse. She had a cruise booked in September.
Love Orlando Strong Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez,
Simon was attending university along with his partner Oscar Aracena-Montero, who died with him at Pulse on Sunday. The pair had just purchased a house in Kissimmee.
Love Orlando Strong Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Leroy was at the club with Xavier Rosado who was also killed. The pair had started dating recently. Fernandez worked as a leasing agent, according to his Facebook profile.
Love Orlando Strong Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
Mercedez went to the club with her friend Amanda Alvear, but neither woman survived. She studied literature at Valencia College in Orlando.
Love Orlando Strong Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Peter attended high school in New Jersey until 2013 and worked at UPS in Orlando.
Love Orlando Strong Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
Juan Ramon was at Pulse with his boyfriend, Christopher, who was also killed. Juan Ramon was a telemarketer who came out to his family recently.
Love Orlando Strong Paul Terrell Henry, 41
Paul lived in Orlando and is survived by his two children.
Love Orlando Strong Frank Hernandez, 27
Frank had moved to Florida two years ago. He sported a tattoo that says “love has no gender.”
Love Orlando Strong Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
Miguel, a father of tree, went out with friends to celebrate at Pulse. He worked at FajitaMex Mexican Catering in Orlando and lived in Apopka.
Love Orlando Strong Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Javier worked at Gucci after leaving Guess, where he worked for almost 13 years.
Love Orlando Strong Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
Jason was among the youngest victims. He recieved certificates for obtaining a 4.0 gpa at Southern Technical College where he studied to become an office specialist, according to his Facebook.
Love Orlando Strong Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
Eddie sent his mother harrowing text messages in the moments before he was executed. “Mommy I love you,” read the first message. “In club they shooting.” He worked as an accountant.
Love Orlando Strong Anthony Luis
Laureanodisla, 25
Antohy loved to dance. He studied communications at Universidad Del Sagrado Corazon in Puerto Rico but moved to Orlando before graduating to pursue his passion for dance.
Love Orlando Strong Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
Christopher died at the club with his boyfriend, Juan Guerrero.
Love Orlando Strong Alejandro Barrios
Martinez, 21
Alejandro, at just 21 years old, was among the youngest to die in the shooting. He was originally from Cuba.
Love Orlando Strong Brenda Lee Marquez
McCool, 49
Brenda was at the club with her cousin and gay son when she was gunned down. She had survived both breast and bone cancer.
Love Orlando Strong Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
Gilberto worked as a sales associate at Speedway. He studied healthcare management.
Love Orlando Strong Kimberly Morris, 37
Kim had just moved to Orlando and was working as a bouncer at Pulse. Her friend Roxy Heart wrote: “He stole her smile. He stole her life. He stole her laughter…”
Love Orlando Strong Akyra Monet Murray, 18
The youngest victim of the attack, Akyra was in Orlando on vacation celebrating her high school graduation with her family.
Love Orlando Strong Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
Luis Omar worked at Target as a cashier and in the store’s Starbucks. He described himself on Facebook as a dancer.
Love Orlando Strong Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
Geraldo was originally from the Dominican Republic but later lived in Puerto Rico. He studied law at the Universidad Del Este in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Love Orlando Strong Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Eric was originally from Puerto Rico. He worked in retail and had a bachelor’s degree in communications from Universidad Central de Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Love Orlando Strong Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Rayon Paniagua worked day and night to send all his money back to his family in Mexico, his friend Norman Joel wrote on Facebook.
Love Orlando Strong Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
Jean Carlos died with his longtime partner, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, whom he wooed while working at Perfumania.
Love Orlando Strong Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25
Enrique was a social worker from Brooklyn, NY. He obtained his degree from St. Francis College in Brooklyn.
Love Orlando Strong Jean Carlos Nieves
Rodriguez, 27
Jean Carlos was a general manager at a check cashing business. He bought his first house a month and a half ago.
Love Orlando Strong Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
Xavier is survived by a young son, according to his employer Splash Bar of Panama City Beach, Florida.
Love Orlando Strong Christopher Joseph
Sanfeliz, 24
Christopher was living in Tampa and worked at JPMorgan Chase. He graduated from Gaither High School in Tampa and went to Hillsborough Community College.
Love Orlando Strong Yilmary Rodriguez
Solivan, 24
It was Yilmary’s first time at the club and she was celebrating a visit from her brother-in-law. She was a mother of two.
Love Orlando Strong Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Edward was a world traveler who worked in a gay travel agency.
Love Orlando Strong Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
Tomlinson was the front man of the band Frequency. He described himself on social media as a vocal arranger, singer, actor, model, and songwriter.
Love Orlando Strong Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Martin, who was from Puerto Rico, was visiting family when he was killed.
Love Orlando Strong Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
Jonathan moved from Puerto Rico to Orlando to work for the Telemundo show “La Voz Kids”.
Love Orlando Strong Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Juan was at Pulse with his husband, Luis Daniel Conde, with whom he went to high school in Puerto Rico and worked with at Alta Peluqueria D’Magazine Salon.
Love Orlando Strong Luis S. Vielma, 22
Luis S. Vielma worked at Universal Studios in Orlando as part of a team that ran the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction.
Love Orlando Strong Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Franky was the oldest person killed at Pulse. He worked as a visual merchandiser at Forever 21.
Love Orlando Strong Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Luis died with his boyfriend, Jean Carlos Perez. The pair had been together for around eight years.
Love Orlando Strong Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
Jerald worked at Disney World as a seasonal worker in the Magic Kingdom. He had a degree in hospitality management from Florida International University and also studied marketing at Northeastern University.

Note: The information of the victims has been taken from the Advocate.