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Never Forgotten.

a tribute to Orlando


une 12, 2016. Forty-nine lives were lost that day and dozens more were injured in a senseless hate crime against the LGBTQA community, marking the most deadly shooting in U.S. history. As we continue to grieve our lost brothers and sisters, we mobilize and rise-up to conquer hate. We stand united to take on homophobia in the most fierce way possible. We arm ourselves with advocacy, solidarity, truth, and most importantly, love. We honor the lives that were and their legacy that has been left behind. We will not forget. We will not be defeated. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to them.

partner Oscar A. Aracena-Montero. Both were killed at Pulse. The couple stopped to see Niagara Falls.

the two, to be side-by-side, when loved ones bid farewell to them,” according to Time Magazine online.

Oscar was a business student. He had returned home from a Canadian vacation with his partner, Simón Adrián Carrillo Fernández, who also perished at Pulse. They chose 3 Chihuahuas to liven up the house they bought together.

Drew was a mental health therapist and the recipient of the Anna Frank Award for his fight for LGBT rights. Known as a film buff, Drew met his soulmate, Juan Ramón Guerrero, a couple of years ago. His mother pleaded for her son’s safe return before learning of his both deaths.Their families decided to have a side-by-side funeral.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23, Massachusetts

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32, South Carolina

Stanley pushed hurt people out of harm’s way during the shooting. The pharmaceutical technician once proclaimed: “I wear make-up and I’m still a man about it tho,” and “pharmacy is my talent, drug life chose me.”

Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26, Dominican Republic

Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37, Puerto Rico

Juan owned Alta Peluqueria D’Magazine in Kissimmee with his boyfriend Luis Daniel Conde (also a victim). They were together 16 years. The salon would often provide free services to women who had been victims of domestic violence.

Luis Daniel Conde, 39, Puerto Rico

A make-up artist, Luis was enjoying the night at Pulse with his partner of 16 years, Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, while they celebrated a friend’s birthday.

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25, North Carolina

Tevin was a business owner of his own Michigan-based Marketing Firm called Total Entrepreneurs Concepts, TEC, a reflection of his initials. His firm employed 20 people. He inspired ambition among his colleagues by using motivational memes and the hashtag #LoveMyTeam.

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25, Puerto Rico Anthony’s drag queen name was Alanis Laurell. He almost finished his communication degree at Sagrado Corazón Univ. in PR, but instead moved to Orlando to start a career in dancing to become a choreographer.

Dee Dee, as she was known, was working at Pulse the night of the shooting. She was trying to turn her life around from drug addiction. The NY Daily News reported she has a 3-year-old son.

Leroy Valentín Fernández, 25, Puerto Rico

Antonio Davon Brown, 29, Oklahoma

Leroy moved to Orlando to care for his mother. He was an apartment leasing agent. Roy, the nickname he went by on FB, loved Adele and choreographed original drag routines, with many set to Beyoncé and J-Lo tracks. Prior to his death at Pulse, Roy posted a motivational message: “Blessed Sunday everyone! Life is too short to be mad. #echapalante #dontworrybehappy.” “Echa pa’ lante” means move forward in Spanish.

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29, Virginia

Amanda was at Pulse with her best friend, Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26. Neither woman survived. She had lost 180 pounds in the last 2 years through surgery and exercise. She worked as a pharmacy technician. She planned to be a nurse.

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33, Puerto Rico

Rodolfo worked as a Biologics Assistant at One Blood Donation Center and had recently been promoted to platelet supervisor. He was a skilled salsa dancer and a prankster, according to media reports. He studied Human Resources at the Inter American University in San German. A Florida A&M alumnus, Antonio handled the HR Department at a Lowe’s store. He was an R.O.T.C. officer who served a year-long tour of duty in Kuwait. In 2012, the U.S. Army Reserve awarded him the rank of Captain. Darryl was a financial aid officer a Keiser University. He had just completed his Master’s in HR management and was celebrating his accomplishment at Pulse.

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24, Puerto Rico Jonathan was the Assistant Producer of “La Voz Kids,” Telemundo’s singing competition show for young viewers. Investigators said he died standing between the shooter and his friend Yilmary, who was the mother of a newborn and also died at Pulse.

Ángel Luis Candelario-Padro, 28, Puerto Rico Ángel had recently moved from Chicago to Orlando, finding a job at the Florida Retina Institute, a couple of days before the shooting. He moved to Fla. looking for a less-crime ridden place.

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20, Puerto Rico

Luis worked at Target and Starbucks while trying to become a professional dancer and actor. An aspiring performer, Luis, had big Hollywood dreams.

Simón Adrián Carrillo Fernández, 31, Venezuela Simón went by Simon A. Carrillo on FB. He brought his colleagues’ cakes on their birthdays. He had just traveled from Canada with his

Amanda Alvear, 25, Florida

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26, New York

Mercedez moved to Fla. to study literature at Valencia College. She loved music and wanted to become a party planner. She went to Pulse with best friend Amanda Alvear. Both died at the nightclub. “It’s not fair that such a horrible act of hate took the life of such a beautiful soul,” her father, César Flores, said to a local TV station.

Peter “Ommy” González-Cruz, 22, Puerto Rico

Peter called himself Peter Ommy and worked for UPS. He was the life of the party. His aunt said: “If Peter is not at the party, no one wants to go.” Peter Ommy went to Pulse with his best friend, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menéndez. Both died in the attack.

Gilberto Ramón Silva Menéndez, 25, Puerto Rico

Gilberto was an only child. He was studying health care management at the Ana G. Méndez University System. The dog show community saluted him as “one of our own.” His favorite breed was a Saint Bernard. His roommate, Peter Ommy González Cruz, also perished at Pulse.

Juan Ramón Guerrero, 22

Juan came out to his family not long ago. He went to Pulse with his boyfriend Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, 32. They had spoken about getting married already. They had a joint funeral. “The Family wanted

Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, 32, Michigan

Paul Terrell Henry, 41, Chicago

Paul could play the piano and the organ without ever having an actual lesson. He was proud that one of his two daughters had recently earned her HS diploma. He is remembered by his boyfriend, Francisco Hernández, as a loving, genuine man, excellent at pool. “I miss him. I love him,” Francisco told The Orlando Sentinel.

Frankie Hernández aka Frank Escalante, 27, Texas

Frankie managed a Calvin Klein Outlet store and loved living there because he felt accepted; he told his family, according to The Orlando Sentinel. He loved showing a tattoo on his right bicep that read “Love has no gender.” He was at Pulse with his boyfriend, Brett Rigas, who survived the massacre, reported The Tampa Bay Times.

Miguel Ángel Honorato, 30, México

Miguel came to the U.S. at age 4, and worked for as the manager of a Mexican catering company in Orlando. He leaves behind 3 sons ages 15, 2 and 1. He was a huge soccer fan.

Presenting Sponsors Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest and oldest mutual bank in the United States, with $9.9 billion in assets and nearly 100 branches serving communities in eastern Massachusetts and southern and coastal New Hampshire. Eastern Bank offers banking, investments and insurance all under one roof, and prides itself on working harder to understand its customers’ needs so it can deliver these services in a committed and personal way. Eastern Bank, which includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance, is a recognized leader in corporate social responsibility and for its advocacy on behalf of a number of social justice causes. For more information, visit:, or Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is a not-for-profit health services company that, along with its subsidiaries, is improving the well-being of its 2.7 million customers. Harvard Pilgrim’s flagship health plans in New England provide health coverage to 1.3 million members, while another 1.4 million individuals are served through Health Plans, Inc., a subsidiary that provides integrated care management, health coaching and plan administration solutions to self-funded employers nationwide. Founded in 1969, Harvard Pilgrim has built its reputation on innovation and collaboration with a goal of lowering health care costs, improving care and enhancing the overall member experience. It is known for its excellent clinical programs, customer service, health improvement strategies and innovative tools that offer consumers greater transparency and empower them to make better decisions about their health care. Harvard Pilgrim’s mission is improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. Award winning, The Rainbow Times is the largest LGBTQ pop culture newspaper in New England that increases awareness of today’s issues. Acclaimed as the most popular publication throughout the region, The Rainbow Times serves as a vehicle to unify and strengthen the diverse communities in New England and beyond. Boasting a monthly readership of 75,000, The Rainbow Times is based in Boston. ISSN 2169-6136 (online) and ISSN 2169-6128 (print).

Never Forgotten.


June 12, 2016 Edward Sotomayor Jr.

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez Age 35

Mercedez Marisol Flores


age 34

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo Age 20

Antonio Davon Brown

Age 26

age 29

Luis Daniel Conde

age 25

Age 39

Cory James Connell age 21

kj morris age 37

Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez age 27

Shane Evan Tomlinson age 33

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan age 24

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz Age 22

Enrique L. Rios Jr Tevin Eugene Crosby age 25

Paul Terrell Henry age 41

Age 25

Juan Ramon Guerrero & Christopher Andrew Leinonen

Age 22 & age 32, respectively

Oscar A Aracena-Montero & Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez

Age 26 & age 31, respectively

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega Age 24

Miguel Angel Honorato Age 30

Darryl Roman Burt II age 29

Juan ChevezMartinez age 25

Jerald Arthur Wright age 31

geraldo a. ortiz jimenez age 25

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon Age 37

Luis S. Vielma Age 22

Joel Rayon Paniagua Age 32

Angel L. age 28 Candelario-Padro

Jason Benjamin Josaphat Age 19

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool age 49

akyra monet murray

Age 18

Christopher Age 24 Joseph Sanfeliz

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado

age 35

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice age 30

Presenting Sponsors

Franky Jimmy age 50 Dejesus Velazquez

community supporters

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez age 37

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla

age 25

Stanley Manolo Almodovar III

age 23

Photos: Facebook

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera

Martin Benitez Torres Age 33

Frank Hernandez Age 27

Age 36


Age 32

Javier Jorge-Reyes age 40

Alejandro Barrios Martinez age 21

Leroy Valentin Fernandez

age 25

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala

Age 33

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez Age 25

Nunca olvidados.

tributo para orlando

Franky “Jimmy” De Jesus Velázquez, 50, Puerto Rico

Jimmy was the oldest victim killed at Pulse. He worked as a Visual Merchandiser at Forever 21. Jimmy joked that he was older than the demographic. In his younger age, he traveled the world as a performance “Jíbaro” dancer, derived from a typical Puerto Rican folk dance.

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40, Puerto Rico

Javier, went by his re-imagined name Harvey George-Kings on FB, an English translation of his name. He was style-conscious, customeroriented and a natural in sales at Gucci at the Mall at Millenia. Friends knew him as “Javi” and on Facebook recalled his smile, sass and energy.

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19, Arizona

Jason loved photography, hip-hop dance and gymnastics. He was studying computer science at Valencia College. He was one of the few victims who was able to contact his mother after the shooting started at Pulse, Orlando.

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30, Florida

Eddie was an accountant who spent his last hour texting his mother. He texted Mina Justice: “Mommy, I love you,” at 2:06 a.m. His last text, sent almost half-hour later read: “He’s coming. I’m gonna die.”

Alejandro Barrios Martínez, 21, Cuba

Alejandro moved to Fla. within 2 years. He left his native Cuba in 2014 and was still perfecting his English at the time of his sudden

Patrocinadores Principales Fundado en 1818 y con sede en Boston, Eastern Bank es el banco mutuo mayor y más antiguo en los Estados Unidos, con $9.9 billones de dólares en acciones y cerca de 100 sucursales sirviendo comunidades del este de Massachusetts, y del sur y costeras de New Hampshire. Eastern Bank ofrece servicios de banco, inversiones y seguros, todos bajo un mismo techo, y se enorgullece en trabajar vigorosamente para entender las necesidades de sus clientes para así ofrecerles estos servicios de manera personal y comprometida. Eastern Bank, el cual incluye Eastern Wealth Management y Eastern Insurance, es un líder reconocido en responsabilidad social empresarial y además por su apoyo en representación de un número de causas de justicia social. Para más información, visite:, www. or Harvard Pilgrim Health Care es una organización de servicios de salud sin fines de lucro que, junto con sus subsidiarias, está mejorando el bienestar de sus 2.7 millones de clientes. Los planes de salud principales de Harvard Pilgrim en Nueva Inglaterra proveen cobertura a unos 1.3 millones de miembros, mientras que las restantes 1.4 millones de personas tienen seguro a través de Health Plans, Inc., una subsidiaria que provee el manejo de cuidado integrado, asesoramiento de salud y soluciones de administración de planes a los empleadores auto-financiados en todo el país. Fundada en 1969, Harvard Pilgrim ha construido su reputación en la innovación y colaboración con el objetivo de reducir los costos de cuidado de salud, mejorar la atención médica y a optimizar la experiencia general del cliente. Está reconocida por sus programas clínicos de excelencia, servicio al cliente, estrategias de mejora de salud y herramientas innovadoras que ofrecen gran transparencia a los consumidores y que les otorga poderes para tomar mejores decisiones sobre su cuidado de salud. La misión de Harvard Pilgrim es mejorar la calidad y el valor de la atención médica para las personas y comunidades a las que le ofrecemos nuestros servicios. Premiado en varias ocasiones, The Rainbow Times es el periódico de cultura pop LGBTT de mayor audiencia en Nueva Inglaterra que tiene como propósito el aumentar el conocimiento de las controversias actuales. Aclamado como la publicación más popular a través de la región, The Rainbow Times sirve como un vehículo que unifica y empodera a las diversas comunidades en Nueva Inglaterra y más allá. Ostentando unos 75,000 lectores mensuales, The Rainbow Times tiene su sede en Boston, Massachusetts.

death. His mother was granted a humanitarian visa, through a letter to the new U.S. Embassy in Havana, to reclaim Alejandro’s body. He loved to talk.

Juan Chávez-Martínez, 25, México

Juan was described as a very kind housekeeping supervisor and dedicated worker. He was one of three Mexican citizens who died at Pulse. He was later honored by Mexico’s government.

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, New York

Brenda was a mother of 11, and a two-time Cancer survivor who died saving her son Isaiah, 21, during the shooting at Pulse. She was there supporting him. Brenda loved salsa dancing and often posted positive words to greet her FB friends in the morning. On June 9 she posted: “Every journey has an ending, and every ending is a new beginning!”

KJ Morris, 37, Connecticut

KJ loved drag performances. Her performance name “Daddy K” was well known in Western Mass. where she lived for over 14 years. She was the founder of Northampton’s drag king troupe the “King St. Boiz.” “I knew I wanted to get together a good drag king performance that would put Northampton and western Mass on the map,” KJ told The Rainbow Times in the troupe’s first interview in 2007. KJ was a “go getter.” She moved to Orlando two months prior to the shooting, to care for her mother and grandmother. She was a bouncer at Pulse for a couple of weeks before the shooting took place. She loved college basketball and MMA fights.

Akyra Monet Murray, 18, Pennsylvania

Akyra was the youngest victim at Pulse. She was on vacation after graduation from a Philadelphia Catholic High School. She was third in her class. Akyra led the ladies Spurs basketball team with more than 1,000 points, which earned her a full basketball scholarship to attend Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA.

Geraldo Ortiz-Jimenez, 25, Dominican Republic Geraldo went by Drake on FB, traveled from PR to Orlando to see his pop idol, Selena Gomez, perform in concert the night before the shooting. He posted prior to the shooting: “We only have ONE LIFE! Let’s take advantage of it strongly until the day we die.” He loved to be in good shape, going to the gym five days a week. He was looking forward to his birthday in July.

Joel Rayón Paniagua, 32, México

Joel lived in Fla. for six years, worked as a construction worker and sent portions of his paycheck home to relatives in Mexico. He was a loyal churchgoer that came to the U.S. because his cousin said there was a lot of crime, violence, and death where he grew up.

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25, New York

He was in Orlando vacationing to celebrate a good friend’s birthday. Enrique lived with his grandmother in NY. He was a social worker for True Care Home Health Care for Elder Care.

Eric Iván Ortiz-Rivera, 36, Puerto Rico

Eric didn’t like the club scene much, but went to Pulse when a group of Puerto Rican friends had a celebration there. He was a generous person and lived in downtown Orlando. He is survived by his husband of one year.

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27, Puerto Rico

Jean Carlos was a hard worker, starting at McDonald’s at age 15. He had just bought his own house a month ago to give his mother a nice place to live. Jean Carlos loved to escape to the beach.

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, Puerto Rico

Xavier moved from PR 10 years ago and was a professional salsa dancer at Walt Disney World and online cruises. He has a 5-year-old son and consistently got jobs that would give him time for raising his boy.

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24, Cuba

Christopher worked at JP Morgan Chase and loved to salsa dance and work out. He once wrote on FB, “Always get a lil nervous on the first date, wish me luck.” #nervous

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24, Puerto Rico

Known to her friends and family as Mary, she was a mother of two young sons, the youngest only three months old. She steered everyone to a gay club, to avoid the kind of violence that had recently occurred at another local club. She was married to race-car driver Juan Borges. Yilmary was out at Pulse with Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega (another victim), and her brother-in-law and survivor William Sabad Borges, when the shooting occurred.

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34, Puerto Rico

“Top Hat Eddie,” as many knew Eddie, coordinated the first-ever gay cruise to Cuba. He was a renowned figure in LGBT travel and the national brand manager for LGBT Specialist Company Al and Chuck Travel. His “Top Hat Eddie” nickname came to be because of the black hats he wore at events and while traveling to stand out in a crowd. Eddie leaves behind a legacy of inclusivity and promoting the idea that travel fosters awareness. He was at Pulse on Sunday for LatinX Night with his partner, Luis Rojas. The couple was texting and Eddie instructed Luis to leave and wait at the house. Eddie told him that he was hiding and safe. His phrase was always: “We cannot be afraid.” Many friends have tattooed a graphic of a hat to remember Eddie.

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33, North Carolina

Shane was a talented singer. He was the lead singer of his band, Frequency. Prior to going to Pulse that night, Shane posted on FB about his own anxiety after another performer, Christina Grimmie of “The Voice,” who was gunned down in Orlando the night before.

Martín Benítez Torres, 33, Puerto Rico

Martín was a student at the Tampa campus of Ana G. Méndez University System. He went to Orlando to visit some of his family members. He was at Pulse with his boyfriend and survivor, Michael Morales. One of his latest posts online read: “Today I am a man of goodness, a fighter, giving everything without expecting anything back, willing to fly high.” His Facebook cover photo reads in Spanish: “If God takes away my eyesight, it’s because I’ve been allowed to see everything that’s beautiful in the world.”

Luis S. Vielma, 22, Florida

Working to get a degree as an EMT first responder, Luis was a Mexican-American and a huge Harry Potter fan who worked at Universal Studios Orlando. J.K. Rowling, the famous author, sent a Tweet lamenting his passing; she said “she couldn’t stop crying.”

Luis Daniel Wilson-León, 37, Puerto Rico

Luis Daniel loved to wear black & faced much bullying for being gay in PR. He didn’t know English when he moved to Fla. He went to Pulse with boyfriend Jean Carlos Méndez Pérez (they met at Perfumania). The fragrance that started the romance was called “Declaration” by Cartier.

Jean Carlos Méndez Pérez, 35, Puerto Rico

Jean Carlos was the best salesman at a Perfumania. He died along his boyfriend, Luis Daniel Wilson-León. They had been together for eight years.

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31, Ecuador

Jerald worked at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. He was at Pulse celebrating Cory James Connell’s 21st birthday, who was also killed in the shooting. He loved both cats and dogs. His dog’s name was Rusty. His quiet and kind personality suited his Disney workplace, where he was assigned a position on Main St. in the Magic Kingdom.

Cory James Connell, 21, Florida

Cory was celebrating his 21st birthday at Pulse, Orlando. He was studying at Valencia College while he also worked at Publix; His goal: to be a firefighter. After his death; fire officials made him an honorary firefighter.

we are one love. one pulse. one orlando.


Orlando Tribute - July 2016  

Presenting Sponsors: The Rainbow Times Eastern Bank and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, this Tribute to the Orlando Massacre Victims is being...

Orlando Tribute - July 2016  

Presenting Sponsors: The Rainbow Times Eastern Bank and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, this Tribute to the Orlando Massacre Victims is being...