Los Angeles, CA -- Victory rang through the halls of the Staples Center on Tuesday evening; it was a record-setting game. The Los Angeles Sparks were undefeated with a record 10-0 for Pride Night. However; the victory was bittersweet.
This weekend pride was the target of something unspeakable. For a brief moment in time fear, sadness and hate tried to creep into a world it didn't belong. Across the nation, a stand has been taken, and bravery, strength, and love will prevail above all else.
We know that the Pulse Nightclub shooting was the worst mass shooting in US history, but what isn't being reported, is that it was also one of the strongest moments for our community to date.
That "community" is all of us... Friends, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, and everyone in between—who believe in freedom of expression as well as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It's no secret that many in the LGBT community are fans of the WNBA. The WNBA is known as a place where stereotypes are broken, and where ability reigns supreme above all else.
This includes the capacity to overcome. Tuesday night was about more than basketball. Tuesday night was about being proud, and about overcoming adversity. Something the majority of fans and players have done with grace.
I will keep this article short. There is a lot to be said, but more importantly, there is a lot to learn. People will take their sides on issues related to the massacre, but history will focus on the helpers, the brave, and those who continue to fight for their rights just to simply exist.
Unspeakable terrors occurred by an individual whose name doesn't deserve to be remember or typed out any longer. Instead, let us instead focus on the names of those whose time was cut far too short, as we honor their names by furthering the pride movement and remembering to be strong for future generations.
Akyra Monet Murray, 18
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Amanda Alvear and Mercedez Marisol Flores, 25 and 26
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25
Antonio Davon Brown, 29
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
Cory James Connell, 21
Darryl "DJ" Roman Burt II, 29
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Enrique L. Rios, Jr, 25
Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera, 36
Frank Hernandez, 27
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Geraldo A. "Drake" Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37
Juan Ramon Guerrero and Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 22 and 32
Kimberly Morris, 37
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Luis Daniel Conde, 39
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
Luis S. Vielma, 22
Martin Benitez-Torres, 33
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero and Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 26 and 31
Paul Terrell Henry, 41
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
Stanley Almodovar III, 23
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24