Two years ago on June 12, 49 people went out for a night of dancing and never made it back home. They were the victims of the Pulse LGBTQ nightclub massacre in Orlando, one of the deadliest mass shootings in America, with another 53 people injured, most of them LGBTQ and Latino.
In honor of those who lost their lives way too soon, thousands of social media users wrote touching tributes on Tuesday remembering their loved ones and calling for gun-law changes to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring.
Brandon Wolf is one of the massacre’s survivors, but his best friend Drew Leinonen was not so lucky. On Tuesday morning, Wolf shared a series of photos of himself with Leinonen. The Florida native captioned the post, “Two years ago, a man fired 45 rounds a minute into the crowded club while I washed my hands in the sink. 13 of those rounds killed my best friends. Today, the pain is the same. Someone please fix this. I miss you.”
Two years ago, a man fired 45 rounds a minute into the crowded club while I washed my hands in the sink. 13 of those rounds killed my best friends.
Today, the pain is the same. Someone please fix this.
— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) June 12, 2018
Wolf tells Yahoo Lifestyle that gun violence isn’t just about nameless body counts. “It was brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, friends. Every life ripped from us at the hands of a madman with a weapon of war leaves a hole,” he says. “When we march, remember them. When we rally, remember them. And when we vote in November, remember them.”
Many other family members also took to social media in remembrance of their loved ones.
2 years ago, a mass shooter killed 49 people & injured 53 others at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. My dear cousin, MJ Wright, was one of the mother’s who lost a child, Jerry Wright, at #Pulse. Many mass shootings, many lives lost, before and after Pulse. Congress still won’t act. pic.twitter.com/3ehqprZIJR
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) June 12, 2018
It's the 2-year anniversary of #Pulse, where 49 beautiful lives were lost due to a senseless act of violence. This #PrideMonth, let's honor them by continuing to speak out and fight for commonsense gun safety laws. ❤️️ pic.twitter.com/lki2kqrvU3
— Eric Rosswood (@LGBT_Activist) June 12, 2018
Two years ago today, 49 people – mostly LGBT and Latino – were murdered at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It was the single biggest mass murder of LGBT people in US history. Vigils were held around the world. Thousands attended one in London the next day.
We still remember.
— Patrick Strudwick (@PatrickStrud) June 12, 2018
— Pulse Orlando (@pulseorlando) June 12, 2018
Others shared how this violence has inspired them to live life to the fullest and to be open about their sexual identity. A Twitter user named Gavin wrote, “I was a terrified closeted homosexual when the
#pulse shooting happened. now I’m more open with myself than ever. nothing will ever stop us from being gay. … we’re not going out without a fight.”
i was a terrified closeted homosexual when the #pulse shooting happened. now I'm more open with myself than ever. nothing will ever stop us from being gay. fuck the haters. fuck the system. fuck everyone that tries to beat us down. we're not going out without a fight pic.twitter.com/GMddVEZsei
— gavin (@gavin_online) June 12, 2018
“Hope is all I have,” he says. “I look around and see young people engaged and energized. I see a country that wants to take back power from a corrupt, greedy few. I see, in the faces of activists, the spirit of my best friends. The future has never seemed more full of hope.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- ‘Why is June so gay?’ and other Pride 101 facts you need to know
- How NYC’s Trans Beauty Clinic is transforming lives from the inside out
- March for Our Lives and gay activism: ‘They’re definitely linked for me,’ says Emma Gonzalez