Pulse | A Night To Remember

Posted bySamuel West Posted onJune 11, 2024 Comments2
The Pulse Sign

If there was one term to describe this wonderful nightclub, I knew as Pulse would be euphoric. There was just never a dull moment in this place. Everyone was just so pleasant and joyful. I knew the moment I walked in it was going to be a good time. Pulse was deeply rooted in the community, and it didn’t matter whether you were gay or straight. People just flocked to it. The inside always glistened with beautiful stage lighting flashing like most nightclubs, but the vibe at Pulse was like no other. I enjoyed the mystery of who I was going to possibly meet and possibly dance with or have a nice casual conversation with; it was exciting. It was never promised, but just the thought alone was pleasant. 

My favorite bartender was Kate; she always made the best cocktails anyone could ever ask for. She knew exactly what I wanted I wish I could remember, but I have no idea. What I do remember is it was sweet, refreshing, and had a purple hue to it. What I remember most is that it was great and it was my favorite and she knew exactly how I liked it. 

I was never one to run to clubs, but Pulse was special, especially on a night out with my friends. On one particular night on what Pulse would deem as college night around Halloween in October of 2010, it was an amazing evening. The club was carefully decorated for Halloween, and some club members arrived with creative costumes. It was just like going to a cool Halloween party, but it was more exciting than usual with a DJ. I, however, did not dress up but had a great time with my friends Leroy and Gabe. They were always ready to have a good time, and there was never a dull moment. Dancing, laughing, and people watching is what we did, and it was fun every single time we gathered together. After that fun night, my days of visiting Pulse had almost come to an end. As time moved on, I found someone, and I was soon partnered by the end of that year. 

2016 Pulse Massacre 

I will never forget the moment I spotted the news on my phone that there was a deadly shooting at Pulse, and numerous people in our community were killed. I jumped out of my bed, woke up my partner, and said in tears, “Something awful has happened at Pulse.” I couldn’t process what had taken place, and I was in total disbelief. There were countless thoughts running through my head. Who was there? Were there any of my friends there? Everyone in town was calling anyone they knew to see if they were safe and ok. Even if you recently spoke with someone you recently met there but didn’t really know them that well. You called to see if they were ok. It didn’t matter if you were gay or straight. The whole city checked on each other. What mattered at that very time was safety, and the thought that some people didn’t get a call back because they were trapped, injured, or possibly killed in this massacre was just devastating. To the world, this was just another breaking news headline, but to me, this was my local community in trouble, my home. It was a sad day and, frankly, a sad remainder of the year. As the world moved on, Orlando, my community, was still left with trying to put the pieces together to try to figure out why. And day by day, dealing with the grief of losing 49 souls. Every year, we remember all the lives lost to this tragedy on June 12th, Orlando United Day. Not only do we remember the 49 angels, but we also remember the first responders who helped during this time of need.

In addition, what most people may not understand as beings of the LGBTQ community, we didn’t just lose lives; we lost a sense of safety and security to be able to live our authentic selves in a location where members of this community were supposed to be safe without fear or worry. The loss of the idea of having a fun gathering with friends in a social environment because of the massacre. There are countless issues that started to take place mentally from such a horrible matter as such. Thankfully, as time moves by, this wound our community endures is still there, but it looks different. We understand and know that love is greater than hate. This will always be the case no matter what takes place in life, but I do feel that knowing that love is greater gives the community a sense of strength to move on into the future with hope and pride. 

A place to remember 

Unfortunately, there is no official permanent Pulse memorial yet. It’s been almost eight years after this senseless tragedy, and this just breaks my heart. People are still grieving; the community is still grieving the 49 who lost their lives. We as a community not only want a safe place to grieve, but it is also immensely imperative to have a memorial site. Memorials not only open the opportunity for people to remember, but memorial sites educate the present and future citizens of our community and beyond. It’s sad to hear that there has been mismanagement of donations that were specifically used for the memorial construction. However, the good news is that the city purchased the Pulse property last year, and I know for sure that the city of Orlando will make our 49 angels proud. 

For more information on the Pulse Memorial, go to pulseorlando.org


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