Photo courtesy of JP Soto (IG: john_paul_soto)
On June 11, the Pulse community rallied to demand action from political leaders to end the epidemic of gun violence, reject NRA influence, and address the forgotten needs of the community two years after a horrific mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Orlando, leaving 49 people dead.
612 days passed between Pulse and Parkland while Governor Rick Scott did nothing to reduce gun violence. His promise to take executive action to protect LGBTQ+ state workers from discrimination was broken and mental health funding for Central Florida was slashed.
QLatinx partnered together with local activists from the Campaign To Keep Guns Off Campus, Gays Against Guns, and Equality Florida to bring the community together and demand change happen. Local community organizer and QLatinx co-founder Ishmael Perez called upon the those in attendance to "create change by taking control of your own life and [realize] your own potential. No human being is a single issue person – we all have a story to tell and skills to bring about progress."
“Six hundred and twelve days,” said Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse shooting and organizer of the Pulse Rally to Honor Them With Action, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “That’s how long it took for Pulse headlines to become Parkland headlines.… That’s how long it took for 49 lives lost to become 17 more. And in those 612 days, nothing changed.”
The demonstration was held at Orlando's City Hall Plaza, one day before the community was set to honor the 49 victims and 59 people injured in the attack.