Billboard has released an interview with the owner of Pulse nightclub, Barbara Poma, about what the club meant to the LGBT community in Orlando, and why places like it are worth protecting.
On why tourists gravitated towards Pulse:
I remember there used to be buses that came from the Disney/tourist area to drop off guests who would then return on their own during their stays. I can't speak for all of them, but I imagine that LGBTQ people were looking for a place they knew they would be comfortable and free to express themselves. Gay bars are an important part of the gay culture for that very reason.On what set Pulse apart:
I think Pulse differs from tourist clubs, as well as other local clubs, for a couple of reasons. One of our biggest goals was to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere that was family-like, with people who shared my vision.On the public's response since the shooting:
I can't tell you how many stories I have read over this week that have told me that Pulse was the first gay bar they ever went to, how they were shaking in fear, how they weren't out to their families and how Pulse welcomed them. People who aren't out, people who are exploring, people who are transitioning need a place to do this without judgment, they need acceptance; this is what Pulse was always about.Read HERE.
Meanwhile, a man went on TV (in disguise) claiming he was shooter Omar Mateen's f**kbuddy, and that he thinks his onetime lover went off the rails as an act of revenge against gay Latinos who had mistreated him, including a threeway with an HIV-positive man who supposedly did not disclose this upfront. I was all but convinced the "closet case"/"self-hating gay" thing was off the table after the FBI failed to turn up corroborating evidence, but perhaps I'm wrong. (This guy isn't very convincing, by the way.) What I am certain of is that it doesn't change in any way the fact that religion too often makes people hate LGBT people -- so whether there was self-hating or just plain hating of us, fundamentalism was a factor in this horrendous hate crime that could have been greatly mitigated had assault-style weapons continued to be banned. Read HERE.
Omar's "lover" reminds of the creep who "confessed" to killing JonBenet Ramsey, only to have it all be a rouse to try to get attention. Just learned that the guy resurfaced again in 2010 as a woman when s/he was accused by a former fiancee of recruiting little girls for a sex cult called The Immaculates. (Oh, boy.)