No queer person questions their safety when they go out to a gay bar, Sexia Lopez, a woman who lost friends in the Pulse shooting, told Ellen Page and Ian Daniel on the Orlando episode of Gaycation.
Actress Page and her best friend, Ian Daniel, traveled to Orlando for the latest episode of Gaycation, an LGBT travel show on Viceland, to visit with survivor of the shooting and with friends and family of those who lost their lives in the attack that left 49 dead and 53 others wounded June 12 during Latin night at Pulse nightclub.
For many LGBT people in Orlando who struggle with families who don't accept them, Pulse was a sanctuary away from bigotry, homophobia, and transphobia. While fighting back tears, Demii Cache, who was supposed to be at Pulse for a friend's celebration, described those who regularly attended Latin night as people who "behave like a family because not all of us have a family."
"Not everybody is lucky to have a family that embraces you," Cache told the two cohosts. She is shunned by her family because her "lifestyle to them is a sin." Both she and Lopez reported that their families hadn't reached out to them since the shooting at Pulse.
Page and Daniel also met up with Angel Santiago, 32, who was at Pulse the night of the shooting. Santiago revealed that being thrust into the spotlight made him feel empowered to be out and proud. "The other day going on TV saying, you know, I'm a gay man. Five years ago, I would not have imagined me saying that. Even to my family or friends," said Santiago. "I'm no longer ashamed of who I am. As a matter of fact, I'm proud."
In addition, the cohosts spoke to the partner of a victims who remains under critical care; the founder of Somos Orlando, an organization that provides culturally competent and bilingual health care services for the victims of the shooting; and out Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, among others.
You can watch the full episode of Gaycation: Orlando below via Vice magazine's TV channel, Viceland.