LGBTQ community still healing from deadly Pulse Nightclub shooting

Tampa holds memorials to honor the victims of Pulse

Monday marks one year since the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando

A man walked into the pulse nightclub and opened fire.

For days now, people have been celebrating Pride month by honoring the victims and their families.


Saturday evening, Out and Loud Florida held a Pulse Memorial at Centennial Park in Ybor.

Many speakers from different organizations took the stage to uplift those still healing from the shooting.

49 candles were lit to honor each victim that lost their life.

We spoke with Cierra Hill, who lost three friends from the shooting.

While not visible, Hill along with partner Jonathan still have open wounds.

The Pulse shooting robbed them of their friendships.

“It's just real hard, it’s hard to kind of put it past you but I'm doing alright I guess,” says Hill.

Side by side, others also trying to get through the pain, just wanted to come together and know they're not hurting alone.

“Through love and understanding, we can defeat it. It can be done without violence,” says Johnathon Hill, who was also at the memorial.

That's the reason Judith Rosario and her partner Lydia Colon came to the memorial.
They too experienced a scare the night of the shooting.

Their loved one lives just 3 miles from the nightclub.

“We couldn’t get a hold of him and it was like so terrifying trying to make sure he was okay and his partner was okay,” says Rosario.

Local drag kings and queens put on a show between speakers to remind everyone to #KeepDancing,

They had there was a wish box, which was placed near the stage.

People wrote their hopes and wishes for the future of the LGBTQ community.

They also sent their love to the Pulse angels. These notes will be delivered later to the memorial at Pulse in Orlando.

EPIC, which stands for Empath Partners in Care, were also out there providing free HIV tests for anyone wanting to know their status.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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