ORLANDO, Fla. – When a gunman opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub a year ago, most of the 49 people who lost their lives were gay Latinos.
Since then, the wounded gay Latino community in Orlando has responded by forming support groups and community organizations, seeking seats at the tables of power and creating a foundation to champion gays and Latinos.
The attack on June 12, 2016, highlighted the gulf between gay people of color and other gays.
Though Orlando's gay institutions are open to anyone, some gay Latinos did not use them because of language barriers or because much of Orlando's gay life is concentrated downtown. There were other obstacles too, including cultural issues of "machismo," deep Latino connections to the Roman Catholic Church and, for some, concerns about immigration status.