« on: July 08, 2016, 05:56:43 pm »
I came to peedee after it, but I have close family in Orlando. Specifically, my dad's cousin but more like an uncle figure. He's not in the closet, but no one in my closed minded tennessee family are aware of his lifestyle.
I lived with him for 2 summers from 16 - 17. He got me a job at disney, working in concessions at blizzard beach (mini donut stand across from beach haus for those of you that have been.) This was in 2002 & 2003. Prior to the first summer, he came out to me. I'm apparently the only one he's ever come out to. His method is "if anyone asks ill tell them the truth", but being a southern family, no one has the gall to ask him directly and it's don't ask don't tell. I endearingly refer to him as my guncle, or gay uncle. He's awesome.
Over those summers he was a member of a gay bowling league. Took me to said league every tuesday. Made some lifelong friends through that, all older than me. Still text a few of them a few times a year.
Guncle's type are latinos. Specifically, barely legal latino boys. He likes em young and bronze. I'm not one that ever has anxiety about anything, but the morning of I was freaking out when I found out the details of it. Luckily, my old curmudgeon guncle was home in bed & was shocked the next morning.
One of my friends from the bowling league had a close friend that didn't make it out. One of guncle's friends & his partner were there. The partner didn't make it out. His friend was hit, but had no idea until about 40 minutes afterwards - he was bleeding profusely and thought it was all someone else's blood.
Guncle lives a few blocks over from orange avenue. Have another friend there whom I met in college via WoW - he was a guildie. Have drank and hung out with him multiple times in the 407. He heard the shots from his house.
I was pretty shaken by this. I was a hour+ away from the aurora theater when it happened, at a different midnight showing. Even then, it didn't really hit me deeply. This one fucked me up for a while. I know some business owners of a casket company in Orlando. NYT, AP, and others were on site and taking pics and interviewing the owners in the aftermath. Had pics of their inventory up on the "this week in pictures" sections, too.
Just writing this out now all because I can. Shits fucked. There's so much more I could say and discuss, especially on the times. My first pride parade/events were in orlando. o-town was my first gay life exposure. hell, summers with guncle and the culture shock from it really shaped me into the person I am today.
I thought abotu throwing something up in or kill me, decided against it. So there's my very miniature discussion/perspective.
We're fucked as a species.