Photos by Page Hope McKay
It is a sad truth: We see the best of humanity after the worst. And the global outpouring of support that followed the deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history was no exception. On June 12th, 2016, a gunman opened fire at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring 53 more. The attack took place on “Latin night” in the popular, gay nightclub.
“They killed us in our sanctuary, where we are at our most free. Not just free to be queer. Not just free to be Latino. But free to be both at the same time,” wrote John Paul Brammer for Slate shortly after the attack. “The LGBTQ identities of the victims of Sunday’s massacre must not be erased. Nor should the fact that most of the victims were Latinos. It takes nothing away from unity to acknowledge this.”
As the world prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, photographer Page Hope McKay shares images with us from two Orlando vigils last year that honored the memories of the victims, ages 18 to 50 years old: Stanley Almodovar III, Amanda Alvear, Oscar Aracena-Montero, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, Alejandro Barrios Martinez, Martin Benitez Torres, Antonio Brown, Darryl Burt II, Jonathan Camuy Vega, Angel Candelario-Padro, Simon Carrillo Fernandez, Juan Chevez-Martinez, Luis Conde, Cory Connell, Tevin Crosby, Franky Dejesus Velazquez, Deonka Drayton, Mercedez Flores, Juan Guerrero, Peter Gonzalez-Cruz, Paul Henry, Frank Hernandez, Miguel Honorato, Javier Jorge-Reyes, Jason Josaphat, Eddie Justice, Anthony Laureano Disla, Christopher Leinonen, Brenda Marquez McCool, Jean Mendez Perez, Akyra Monet Murray, Kimberly Morris, Jean Nieves Rodriguez, Luis Ocasio-Capo, Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, Eric Ortiz-Rivera, Joel Rayon Paniagua, Enrique L. Rios Jr., Juan Rivera Velazquez, Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, Christopher Sanfeliz, Xavier Serrano Rosado, Gilberto Silva Menendez, Edward Sotomayor Jr., Shane Tomlinson, Leroy Valentin Fernandez, Luis Vielma, Luis Wilson-Leon and Jerald Wright.
Page Hope McKay is an Orlando-area portrait and wedding photographer.
Copyright © 500 Pens. June 2017.