01x90 - Gaycation Presents: Orlando

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Gaycation". Aired: February 2016 to April 2017.
"Gaycation" follows Ellen and Ian as they set off to explore LGBT cultures around the world. From Japan to Brazil to Jamaica to the USA, the two meet some fascinating people during their travels and hear their stories.
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01x90 - Gaycation Presents: Orlando

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[Birds chirping]

Yeah. No, we won't.

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.

Yeah, that's good.


Thank you.


So, we arrived in Orlando last night, and, um, the first thing that we wanted to do here was come to, uh, Pulse, to pay our respect, uh... and, uh, we're here because we just want to... see how the community is feeling and dealing with this and... and... and just be here for those who... feel like they... they want to share their story.


Page: In the early hours of June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, a g*n opened f*re on a gay nightclub called Pulse.

After an hours-long rampage and standoff with the police, he had k*lled 49 people and injured 53 more.

[Siren wails]

It was the deadliest att*ck against the LGBTQ community in American history.

We're on our way right now to the hospital to meet with a survivor of the att*ck.

His name is Angel Santiago.

He's been apprehensive about sharing his story with the media, but he has decided to let us talk with him today.

So we're gonna go do that.

Hey, guys.



How are you?

Daniel: Good. How are you doing?

Santiago: Nice to meet you guys.



Can we give you a hug?

Can we come give you a hug?

Of course, of course.

Bring it in, bring it in. [Chuckles]

Mm. Mm.

Thanks so much for coming. I appreciate it.

Oh, my gosh.

Oh, thank you so much for talking.

I was trying to get you guys in here, and it was a little bit difficult with everything going on, but they just... you know, they want to offer me protection because it can get crazy.

Of course.

I mean, thank you for having us, and we want you to be protected, as well.


So I'm glad you're taken care of.

Daniel: Where are you from, and how did you end up in Orlando?

Well, I'm originally from Philadelphia.

Uh, I only moved, uh, to Orlando in late October.

And, uh, prior to that...

I mean, I lived in Orlando for three years at one point.

One of my friends who I knew from the first time I lived in Orlando... Jeff...

He was with me that night.

Right around 2:00 is when...

Jeff and I heard the initial sh*ts, and, like, I remember we looked at each other in the eye, and he, like, says, like, "Get down."

So, like, we dropped to the ground.

Everybody around us drops to the ground, and we just heard da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da. I'm like, "Oh, my God, they're, like, sh**ting in here." So, I start running.

Um, I slipped and fell 'cause the floor was wet, but I got back up and I ran into, um...

Jeff and I ran into the men's room, and in the men's room is, like, a large handicap stall.

So, we... we saw people running in there.

We ran in there, too.

At least 15 of us, if not more, I mean, I can't remember off the top of my head, but it was a good amount of people in there.

We were all very quiet. Everyone was, "Shh, shh, shh."

And that's when, in our bathroom, the sh*ts started coming at us through the stall wall, and everyone's just screaming.

And I felt...

I felt a sh*t on my foot.

The sh*t came through here and exited down here.

Um, and then the second sh*t was my knee.

Same thing in and out.

Once the sh**t left, [Clears throat]

I had heard that he went into the other bathroom, 'cause I heard people start to yell in there, and I'm talking with Jeff. I'm like, "Jeff, are you okay?"

He's like, "I've been sh*t."

And he showed me, um, that he was sh*t right here, like right on his collarbone. I could see the b*llet.

You know, he's bleeding. I see... I'm...

I'm covered in blood.


I decided to go ahead and try to get out of there so I could get some help for Jeff.

So, I... little by little, I was on my stomach at that point.

I just started pushing myself out.

And I go out into the little hallway that leads to the bathrooms, and I'm just, you know, very slowly, being as quiet as I could be, just dragging myself so I can see something.

And eventually, um, I do see a police officer or S.W.A.T., I guess. I don't know.

They're like, "Hands up! Hands up!"

Drop! Drop whatever you have! Hands up!"

And I'm putting my hands up, just trying to keep my balance, and they're telling me to stand up, and I'm like, "I can't stand up, I can't stand up."

So, I yell out, you know, "I can't stand up." I've been sh*t."

And they're like, "Well, you need to drag yourself."

Drag yourself to us. Come out."

When I got, like, halfway toward them, two of the S.W.A.T. guys came to me and, like, just very, very fast dragged me out of the club.

So, at that point, I was relieved, and they put me on in the ambulance.

And they hooked me up and they brought me here.

I ended up having two units of blood given to me, and I stabilized.

And then I was fine after that.

And as far as my friend Jeff, eventually I found out that he was initially in critical condition, but now he's stable and he's doing okay.

I'm so sorry, Angel.

I can't, uh...

I can't even, uh, begin to comprehend experiencing that, and, uh...

[Clears throat]

Well, I mean, I... several people have said that to me, or I was brave and I was strong.

I mean, I think, I guess, yes, I was strong, but in terms of bravery, I was scared.

You know, for a long time growing up, I was confused about who I was.

I didn't accept myself until I was 26.

You know, people say, "Oh, you know, you choose to be gay," whatever.

That's not true.

I grew up in church my entire life, and from a very young age, I knew that I was gay.

And did I want to be gay? No.

I did everything that I could not to be gay.

I prayed. I went to church.

I read the Bible. And my entire life, I'm still gay.

It was a hard road.

And, um, me the other day, going on TV saying, you know, I'm a gay man.

Five years ago, I would not have imagined me saying that.

Even to my family or friends.

So, I... I'm no longer ashamed of who I am.

As a matter of fact, I'm proud.

I'm sorry, guys.


It hits me randomly.

I don't know... I don't know when it's gonna come.

Of course.

It just comes.

Do not say sorry.

[Breathing heavily]

[Clears throat]


Page: Eddie was also at Pulse that night.

He made it out of the club but lost his friends Juan Guerrero and Drew Leinonen.

Meltzer: It was my friend's 21st birthday, so we decided to go meet them there.

So, we got there late, and I decided I just was I was not in the mood.

I wanted to leave.

I went outside, and, you know, literally five minu...

Five minutes later, as I come to find out, uh, the sh**ting started.

I call my friend. I couldn't get ahold of him.

And, um, I call my dad, and I said, "Would you mind calling your friend and asking if he knows anything about his son?"

And, um... and my dad's like, "They can't find him."

And so, they got onto a flight and they came down here.

When I met them, it was a frenzy, you know, trying to find out who's d*ad and who's alive, you know, and... and that was the hardest part.


I've been in hospitals before, and if you could hear the sound of grieving parents, it is the most horrible sound in the world.

It is hell.

And that's when I realized what was going on.

After that, I went... I met the families with them, uh, just in the hotels and the restaurants and helped them figure out how to go about everything, how to pick up the body, how to...

How do you find the body, what do you do with the belongings, um...

Then I met with some of the families', uh, sons' roommates, and we helped to, uh, get all the belongings out, and that was very hard because as I was getting stuff out, I was thinking, "I can't... I can't believe I'm doing this."

I can't believe I'm touching my friend's belongings that's no longer here and taking them out of his room.

And that's, really, I guess, when I finally just came to terms with it.


So, what are you doing today?

Today, we are gonna go to Juan's and Drew's funeral.

They say that they're going to be buried together.

Can you tell us more about their life?

Yes. Um... They were good people.

You know, simple people.

Uh, professionals with degrees, you know.

I remember Drew talking all the time about what his future plans were, you know, and that was very nice, which was to open a salon, and to, you know, eventually, like, branch out, and...

Just were humble people.


Just looking for a dream.


And so, how are you feeling now?

I mean, what... what's going on in your head as you're... as you're even getting ready to go to the funeral?

I already did my crying in the morning.

Uh, but, uh, I'm feeling strong.

I am feeling very hopeful.

I went to the viewings yesterday.

It was very hard to see the body of somebody you love in a casket.

I want to make sure you're not late.


This is the funeral here?

Meltzer: Yes, it's right here.

And I know that my friends who, you know...

Are in, you know, heaven hopefully they are...

And having fun.

Uh, looking down on this and knowing that... that their death was not in vain.

Page: It's just days after the m*ssacre at Pulse, and the entire community is trying to cope with the loss.


Even for those who weren't there, the tragedy simply intensifies the struggle many LGBTQ people experience every day.

We are meeting Demii and Sexia...

It's very nice to meet you.

Who lost friends in the att*ck.

Hi. I'm Ellen.

Hi. I'm Ian.

It's so nice to meet you.


Nice to meet you. I'm Sexia.

It's so nice to meet you.

Can you tell us about what you were doing on the night of the sh**ting?

I was actually getting ready to go to the club with a friend of mine.

We were gonna go meet up with a birthday party that was going on.

A group of friends, um, most of which were sh*t and k*lled.

So we were supposed to be there that night, but my friend likes to take her time getting ready and we were running a bit behind.

So we were just planning to meet up with them to go to the after party at somebody's house.

But we never actually got a chance to make it there because everything started to happen.

Everybody that was in the birthday party is literally gone.

So, just thinking if we would've made it early enough, we would've been caught in the middle of it.

Cache: And no one ever thinks that, "Oh, we're gonna go out tonight. [Voice breaking] We're gonna have fun." And then...

And it's the place that you think that you're the most safe.

It's... It's, like, you... you're there, and you feel that you can be yourself and nobody's gonna judge you.

Nobody's gonna give you a look over the shoulder or laugh or point at you. You feel comfortable.

You're having a good time. You can dance.

You can have a drink.

Especially on Latin Night, you kind of see the same faces all the time.


It's a really tight community when it comes to...

They behave like a family, behave like a family, and do everything together because not all of us have... Yeah.

Sometimes better than your own family.

And would you say, too, that that space, I imagine, for a lot of individuals who were there that night is maybe the only space that potentially they can really feel comfortable and free...

Cache: Yeah, because... outside of their apartment, you know, or house?

Not everybody is lucky to have a family that embraces you.

My family...

I'm shunned.

Like, my lifestyle to them is a sin.

Um, and there's been no communication, even post this situation with your family?



Page: I'm sorry.


[Inhales deeply]


That's a really important part of the conversation, is that I'm sure there were a lot of people there that don't have families, and you were going to see your family.



And you were going to celebrate your family.


And that's been completely ripped away from you.



And it's like, now where do I go?


Losing even one person is... is difficult.

Daniel: Mm-hmm.

But losing so many at once...


It's almost impossible to deal with.


Page: Because the sh**ting happened during Latin Night at Pulse, roughly 90% of the victims were Latinx, mostly of Puerto Rican descent.

This is a big h*t to the broader Latin community that makes up nearly a third of Greater Orlando.

Nancy Rosado is the Vice President of the nonprofit Misión Boricua and works with the LGBTQ and Latinx ex-communities.

Rosado: Um, that Saturday night, a friend of mine said, "Let's go out and do voter registration" in the LGBTQ community.

"It's Latin Night at Pulse."

I said, "I'm in. Let's go."

And by some strange quirk of scheduling and I don't know...

"Oh, you know, let's leave it for next week"... we didn't go.

So, Sunday morning, the phone rings, and a dear friend of mine calls me and says, "20 people are d*ad, 20 people are d*ad at Pulse."

And then it occurred to me someone went in there and sh*t up the place.

And I went to the center.

Everybody was there. People were bringing food.

It was phenomenal.

The gay and lesbian community turned out in bucketloads, and straight people were there bringing us stuff, and I made the observation real quick how warm it was there, and then I went to the hospital.

And it h*t me.

People at the center didn't look like me.

They were my friends.

It was one family.

And I walked into the hospital.

It was my other family.

They look like me.

They sounded like me.

It was very hard to hear the names as they read them off as those who were being treated at the hospital.

And they m*nled those names brutally so that, around me...

I can speak for my little corner of the room...

"What did they say?"

[Speaks Spanish]

So, when it was over, there were all these questions.

Was my child, my brother, my friend, were they on that list?

It hurt to the core that in 2016, you didn't think to have someone Hispanic read those names, someone Latino.

I'm sorry.

Daniel: Mm.

Do we have any tissues?

Just so we have them handy.

That's all right. I've got a shirt sleeve.


Page: [Chuckles]

We can get them just so you have them.

No, it's okay. It's okay.

It'll pass.

Anyway... we came to the conclusion that this needed to be addressed.

You lost a loved one, you escape the violent situation, you grieve.

Layers and layers and layers that, left unattended, take you to very ugly places.

We formed what's called Somos Orlando, um, with the hope that we can raise the money so that we can have culturally competent mental-health workers work with our community.

In this instance, it just so happens that my two communities intersect.

I got slapped in the face. I admit.

I got slapped in the fa...

With all I know about us now being on the table.

When you have to stand in a puddle of someone's blood to fight for your people, you realize how marginalized you really are, no matter how much you've worked and tried to convince the city, convince the county to do A, B, or C for your people, this is when you realize no, you are nothing, nothing in their eyes. You're...

You're being taken care of by default.

And that's hurtful.

For me, it is.

It's very, very hurtful.

I only pray we get better from this.

You know, you've touched on so many important things, and you said it so beautifully.

Come here.



Page: Every day since the att*ck, vigils have been taking place all over Metro Orlando.

Tonight, we are standing with the community of Davenport, an Orlando suburb, as they mourn two of their young women, Amanda Alvear, who was studying to become a nurse, and Mercedez Flores, an aspiring party planner.

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

It's amazing the love, the acceptance that people in the world have sho...

Have shown us from... for our family, for our family.

I love you guys. I love you guys.


I love you, I love you.

I love you.

[Crying] And I don't want them to put to rest in vain, and either the life or the life of all the victims that were taken from us.

Mercedez and Amanda... oh, my God, they're watching me.

They're saying, "Mommy, get it together, please."


"Don't embarrass me."

"Yes," say Amanda, "yes, Mommy, yes!"

[Cheers, whistles and applause]

We have to take the message across the world.

We have to respect one another.

Flores: Good afternoon to everybody.

Reporter: Update us on the investigation.

What are officials there telling you about the sh**t, his background, possible motivations?

Reporter #2: 29 years old, born in New York, his parents are from Afghanistan.

Reporter #3: ... Worked as an armed-security guard at this resort.

A family man with a wife, a 3-year-old, and a steady job.

We now know that his life was anything but typical.

We currently have no evidence that he was directed by a foreign t*rror1st group, but was radicalized domestically.

Never had any problems with religion.

You knew he'd go home to a happy home at the end of the day.

We have a radical Islamic terrorism problem, folks.

t*rrorists in Orlando targeted LGBT Americans out of hatred and bigotry.

Reporter: Do you think he was gay?

I don't know.

Page: In one dark night, the Pulse sh**t brought to light some of America's most divisive issues...

Intolerance for the LGBTQ community, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and g*n v*olence.

We may never know his motives or if his loathing was for himself or others, but the tragic outcome has left 49 d*ad and forced Orlando to grieve and process hate.



Hi. Welcome.

Page: Mario and his housemate Fahd are both affected by this hate in different ways.

Come on in.

Hi. I'm Fahd.

Hey. Ian.

Page: Hey.

Hey. I'm Ellen.

How are you?

Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you, too.

Thanks for allowing us in your home.


Mario: It's my pleasure. Welcome.

You're welcome.

Page: Mario's partner was sh*t four times that night and is in critical condition at the hospital as we meet.

[Cellphone chimes]

Very handsome.


He is very handsome.


He is very handsome.

I want to make sure I get...

Cute couple.


He seems very sweet.

Oh, my God.

Absolutely. He is extremely sweet, ex... extremely sweet.


That's why he's got me real bad.


And he knows it, yeah.

This relation was in the very early stages.

We were making, uh, plans to get a little bit more deep into the relationship, and all of a sudden, all this just, you know, put a stop to all of that.

Is there anything you would like to say, you know?

Like, that you've been thinking about or something you... would like to express?

Well, I can tell you that, uh, unless something like this touches you directly, you will never feel how deep it hurts and how difficult it is to go through it.

There is a lot of mixed feelings.

It's a lot of anger, and I think for the first time in my life, I felt hate, which is horrendous.

It's something that I don't like at all.

Um, it's not a very nice thing to feel.


Page: Mario's housemate, Fahd, moved to Orlando from his native Pakistan 2 1/2 years ago, after his family disapproved of his sexuality.

So, when did you first hear about what was going on?

When you woke up in the morning on Sunday?

Yeah. I was sleeping, and, uh, my... my roommate, he... he called me and I was...

That was, like, a surprise for me, like, "Why is he calling me at this time?"

It was like 9:00 in the morning.

And he's like, "Are you in your room?"

And I said, "Yeah, I'm in my room."

And, uh, that's when I he told me about it.

And, you know, I immediately went online to... to see what actually happened.

By that time, they had not disclosed the name of the person, and when I came out, I went to my roommate's room to check on... to... on... on the TV what happened. That's when they disclosed the person's name.

And that gave me, like, a major anxiety att*ck because of his name.

And because my name is a Muslim name, too.

The first thing that came to my mind was that... if I was there, even if I was... even if I had gotten sh*t... just because of my name, I would've been under a radar.

Were you religious or are you religious?

I... I grew up in a Muslim family.

Now I don't really consider myself as a believer.

I think that's just a conversation everyone's talking about, um...


His name, his background, his religion.


And so, I... I think it would help to know more about the fears that that you have, just as an everyday citizen in Orlando.

People have to understand that... it wasn't a religion that pulled the trigger that day.

It was more of an ideology, an ideology of hate.

Right, but the conversation is, where does that ideology come from?

Well, that ideology could come from anywhere.

That c... That has... That has nothing to do with any religion.

It's just ignorance, intolerance, and when you just cannot respond to somebody, you bring in religion.

Daniel: I think the conversation now, uh, in the universe and especially in America after this incident, is about shifting our consciousness and waking up to the ways in which we hate on people and how those little, everyday, hurtful comments and conversations, um, are really dangerous, and they destroy entire communities.

One of the positives that comes out of this, for sure...

And you can just see it in Orlando...

As a great example of the ways in which, I think, overnight, clearly Orlando has changed.

I mean, there's rainbows everywhere.

It looks gayer than ever.

There's a real sense of belonging and community and love and compassion. That is just as... as solid as it can be and sad as it is, that makes me feel like something can really shift and something is shifting.

Scott: You just can't imagine this happening in any community.

My heart goes out to every family member that's been impacted.

We stand for and with all Americans, irrespective of their sexual orientations.

Let's just make sure we keep the victims in our prayers and their families.

Page: In the wake of the tragedy at Pulse, many politicians who previously blocked LGBTQ equality expressed their sympathies to the community.

But it has been city commissioner Patty Sheehan who has spoken for the LGBTQ community.

This is a community that's been fighting AIDS.

We have fought, uh, discrimination.

We have fought so many things in this community and won.

We are a community who loves, and that's how we respond beautifully to something like this.

Woman: And let's... let's end it on that note.

Patty Sheehan, thank you so much for being with us.

Appreciate it.

Page: We are meeting Commissioner Sheehan at the growing makeshift memorial at the Dr. Phillips Center across from Orlando City Hall.

Hi. Ellen.

I'm Patty.

Pleasure to meet you, Patty.

Thank you for coming.

I'm so sorry we had to meet under these circumstances.

Me, too. I'm so sorry.

If you could tell a bit about yourself, you're the first...

Yeah, I'm the first openly gay elected official in Central Florida.

And I've seen a lot of change.

I mean, everything from...

Uh, nondiscrimination for city employees.

I got to be here on the first day we had gay marriage.

Um, domestic partnerships.

We've had so much that's happened over the last 16 years in terms of, you know, progress for the gay community, and something that's just been so hard for me is, you know, as kind of the elder stateswoman kind of thing, is that I thought that my activism and the activism that we did, that this world would be a better place for them, and that's what just makes it so sad for me.

You know, I... I want people to know what the gay community goes through.

I want them to understand, through this, what LGBTQ people experience every day.


And it's not m*rder, but it's bullying, it's getting fired from their jobs, it's all these things, and all these politicians that have...

That rushed down here and wanted attention...

But they were the people that fought gay marriage.

They're the people that won't get nondiscrimination protection statewide.

They're the people that hold my community back.

You can't just say the m*rder is wrong.

You have to say all the discrimination, all of the hatred, everything that happens is wrong.

You can't just pick and choose how you want to hurt someone or harm someone or hate someone.


It's all about love, and I have to tell you, this is... this is about love.

All these people that have come, this is about love.

This is what you should be embracing as politicians, as leaders in this community, as religious leaders.

This is what we should be embracing.

This is what we should be doing.


Page: Yeah.

I've been watching you, uh, and... on TV, and that's what you've been talking about.


So, you know, I think we feel a deep gratitude and, um, love for what you are saying to the mainstream media.


I... I'm... I don't really like to speak publicly, oddly enough.


Um, I was a conduit for something.

I'm a very spiritual person.

I don't know where that eloquence came from except that I think it was a collective prayer from my community that we could finally get people to understand us.


And that... I feel that was my role, and if that's... it was a role I'm thrust into, because if I could get those 49 lives back, I'd rather have them.


I don't want the... I don't want the fame. I want...

I want those kids back.





It's a lot bigger than it was.


Yeah, set them down.


[Indistinct conversations]


You've been here a lot, yeah?


Page: I'm so sorry.

[Sighs, sniffles]

We're honored to be here with you.




She was 18.

I mean, they're... everyone's so young.

[Sighs] Yeah. 18, 30, 29.


Active duty m*llitary.

All of them had lives.

This is Orlando City Hall.




Sheehan: These were all the couples.


There's just too many couples that actually perished together.


She's the youngest.

She just graduated from high school.


Yeah, this is the first time the rainbow flag has ever flown at City Hall.

Daniel: Mm.

It... it... it's a... it's a beautiful tribute, really.

Yeah. You guys want to sign the book?

Yeah. We'd love to.

Yeah. Of course.

Sure. [Sniffles]

Page: It's been only a few days, and the city of Orlando is in deep mourning over the tragedy at Pulse.

But the community is coming together to provide comfort in some expected and unexpected places.


Buchanan: We take it and we put a blessing on it so that we can then present it to the family with all the prayers and the blessing of this congregation.

Tonight, I'm going to be very intentional.

I'm going to invite you to do the same.

At Lake Eola, there's going to be a candlelight vigil there.

And we're going to walk around the lake, and this is our opportunity to join the rest of Central Florida to come together for a time of prayer and peace and healing and remembering.

So let us now take all the love that's within us, which is a huge amount of love, and let us put our minds and our hearts and our soul and our energy together to pray for healing for those who are grieving and mourning, for those who are suffering, and for those who need prayers of healing.

Let us come together now... as a body of love and pray together.

God, we know you hear our prayers.

Are there any other announcements before we continue?

You would think, with the tragedy, I wouldn't really be seeing a lot of silver linings in these clouds.

I called, um, faith assemblies for someone to come and speak when we did our press conference.

No one came.

Barton did.

Barton did in my community.


That's right... stand.

He deserves it.

[Applause continues]

Buchanan: Who else?

We were talking this morning about LGBT, and they said, "What's the Q?"

What's the Q?"

And I said, "It's 'questioning'" 'cause this guy was questioning, and he was disapproved by his father, but maybe if that guy had had somebody to talk to, to say, "It's okay if you question yourself."

You know, I spent my whole teenage life saying, "Why am I different? What is it? What is it?"

And now... there's a lot of different things about me.


[Laughing] Yeah.


Buchanan: Now, stand up, introduce yourself to people you do not know.

Hug people who need hugs, and let us celebrate the fact we're all here together.

Page: While organized religion quite often stigmatizes the q*eer community, it feels good to witness a church opening its arms to everyone.

But for many, the place of refuge and acceptance has been the gay bar.

It's Sunday Funday in Orlando, a roving event that started five years ago to create a space for anyone, LGBTQ or not, to feel comfortable socializing in mainstream venues downtown.

Smith: Last week was our day of mourning.

This is, today, about a kind of making the turn and really just embracing each other, and we're raising funds today kind of just to go back into our community.

I think just knowing that you can go out, be yourself, be courageous, and just being there for each other right now is step one, and then we start taking our next steps tomorrow.

[Indistinct conversations]

What does it mean for you to be coming out here today?

Man: This is just part of our normal routine.

It was Friday night, Southern Night.


Um, Saturday night, Latin Night.

So part of the routine for you and your friends would be to go to Pulse on Saturday night potentially and then come here on Sundays?

Absolutely. Yes.

I mean, we need to celebrate and show that we're q*eer, we're here, we're not going anywhere.

We... we have no fear.

People here in Orlando want to move forward.

We want to be able to come back out to our clubs and be able to fellowship and hang out with each other, so it's a really nice vibe in there today.

Vibe is great.

I don't know. I think it helps the healing process when you are together, when you are united, and when you do come to places like that and there are good vibes and a good feeling.

I think it helps.

The best thing we can do is, like, stick to our routines and keep doing what we're doing.


You know, because, you know, like, this is our family, like, you know, this is... this is our home, you know.

We can't... we can't let him take that from us.

We cope with champagne, pretty much.

We cope with champagne.


That's what we do. We cope with champagne.

Daniel: Personally, I think about the gay bar and what the gay bar means to me, what it has meant to me.

You have to reflect on the...

I guess what you call the sacredness of that space.

And what I would call a haven, a sanctuary away from aggression, and a home for people that don't have families or have been rejected by their families.

It really, really is a space of freedom and a space of celebration.

That's the bottom line, and that's what it's been historically.

That's what it continues to be.

And that's been violated.

Page: Parliament House is the oldest LGBTQ bar in Orlando.

It's a local institution and the last stop on Sunday Funday.

At first glance, the place seems empty...

Until we reach the dance floor.

[Dance music playing]

It's business as usual at the P House.

The room is packed, the party has started.

And it's time for us to join in.

[Music continues]

A week after the sanctity of this space was broken, we witness no apprehensive steps...

Only stomps of defiance and optimism.


There is no room on this dance floor for hate... only love.

Love for those we lost... love for those still grieving... and love for ourselves.

And in this moment, under the dim light, it becomes clear.

We are not just dancing together.

We are standing together.

Page: After the funeral, we join Eddie as he prepares for the wedding of two of his gay friends.

A colorful one just to kind of take away some of that feeling.

I'm going to a wedding now of some friends.


I'm sorry. I'm...

It's been... it's been a very hard day for me.


It's... it's sinking on me when I, uh, when I realize and I talk to my family members.

And I realize that I can talk to them and that, uh, that my friends are not so fortunate to do that, so, um, I...

I don't think anybody should ever have to go through this.

I know I need to get myself together for this wedding.

I know once I'm there, I'll be... I'll be fine.

It's just...

It's very hard to bury, you know, so many people that you care about.

Give me a second. I'm... I'm...

[Chuckling] I don't want to cry in the camera.

This wedding is gonna be more than just a wedding.

It's going to be a celebration.

They also lost friends. Everybody's hurt.

And at some point, they... they...

They were like, "We might cancel," but, you know, I think they realize that we need this.

This is important.

This is a very good message to the world that we are...

We're gonna keep going, you know.

We are not gonna forget, and we're gonna come out stronger.

And that we're gonna respect each other even more.

So, the wedding, to me, is the... the best way to close this... this chapter.

I love you, buddy.

I'll see you later. I'm at peace with what happened.

I came out of this way stronger than I came before.

The reality is, is that we do live in a very ugly world, but also the reality is that we live in a world where the army of kind and good people is... is bigger than that of hate.


It's been, needless to say, so sad and so heavy, and then when you do see people uniting in such an extraordinary way, it's unbelievably moving.

But I have to say, I wish people could do that without something like this happening, without 49 people getting massacred, or, uh, all the situations of discrimination and hate and v*olence that come of it.

I think what's clear is it, uh, is seeing that with so much love responding to the situation is hopefully what plants the... the seed to really, really create change.

You just hope that this...

This thing that you can feel right now, being here, is not just gonna go away.


Jacobs: Let us band together to find a solution.

Not a political solution a human solution.

[Cheers and applause]

You're not alone.

You are not alone in your sorrow, and you are not alone in this fight.

[Cheers and applause]

[Cheers and applause continue]

And this is the moment when love will prevail!

[Cheers and applause]

May Orlando and you be a beacon of light to the rest of the world, that we are in this today, tomorrow, and forever.

Orlando strong, Orlando united, Orlando proud.

[Cheers and applause]

Man: Please lets join now in a moment of silence.

[Crickets chirping]
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