Karine Jean-Pierre
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Anderson Cooper Embodies How We Feel Naming Our Dead

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Out CNN anchor Anderson Cooper opened his primetime show Monday night with an emotional tribute to the 49 people killed inside the Pulse night club in Orlando early Sunday morning. 

Cooper was visibly and audibly shaken as he read the names, ages, and additional information of those that have been identified by authorities as victims of Omar Mateen’s deadly rampage inside the popular Orlando gay bar. One name Cooper refused to speak, however, was Mateen’s, saying his broadcast would instead “keep the focus where we think it belongs — on the people whose lives were cut short.”

[RELATED: Learn the Names of the 49 People Killed at The Pulse Shooting]

It isn't easy for any reporter to cover tragedy, but for LGBT reporters this story comes with an added sense of connection, knowing that your community was directly targeted in a hate crime. The Advocate has a team of reporters on the ground in Orlando, for example, and after attending the official vigil in downtown Orlando Monday night, we saw in Cooper’s composure a reflection of our own reactions.

We've felt it while seeking out stories of the LGBT people in the community directly impacted by this tragedy, which is now the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. 

Watch Cooper’s powerful tribute to the LGBT people and allies who lost their lives Sunday morning — the majority of whom were young, Latino, and gay. 

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