As the owner of Pulse, you can imagine that my family and I are devastated by this tragic act of hate which took place this weekend and which has hurt so many. I am devastated and heartbroken. There are no words that adequately express the level of grief we all share.
For nearly 14 years, Pulse has served as a place of love and acceptance for the LGBTQ community. It should be the last place for such a tragedy.
I established Pulse in honor of my brother, John, who passed away from AIDs in 1991. Pulse has always been a wonderful way to celebrate his life and the lives of his friends and his community.
It has been amazing to see how beautifully our local community, nation, and world have responded to help the victims, those who have be injured and the families and friends of those who have died.
I want to say thank you to law enforcement, the other rapid responders and rescue teams who risked their lives to save the lives of others. And I want to especially thank those extraordinary citizens who also risked their lives to help victims. I am here today to personally express my sadness and condolences to the friends and families of the men and women who lost their lives and those who are in the hospital. I also want to thank the Central Florida community for the overwhelming concern and support for the Pulse family – those who work there and those who enjoy spending time there. They are my family. Especially to my Pulse staff, their hard work and dedication has allowed me to make my vision for Pulse a reality. I individually extend my utmost sincere gratitude for the bravery and responsiveness of my entire team, past and present. Our goal is to create a true family community, and everyone’s actions to this tragedy shows the world just how strong our bond is. No amount of hate can destroy that bond.
Central Florida and the country are grieving. It is important to me that the LGBTQ community know that this terrible act of hate will not stop Pulse. As we move forward in the days ahead, I will begin plans to rebuild and reopen Pulse as a tribute to those who were hurt and who lost their lives.
I will not let hate win. We will heal together. Pulse will always continue to be the heartbeat of Orlando.
Thank you all.