Father of Orlando victim refuses to claim son’s body
The father is said to be have been ashamed of his son’s homosexuality.
In the wake of the attack in Orlando last month – which saw 49 people shot dead in gay nightclub Pulse – images of the victims being honoured and laid to rest have moved people across the world.
However, although 48 of the 49 Orlando victims’ bodies were claimed by family, it has been reported that one father of a gay man who died in the massacre rejected his son’s body.
Orlando Latino reports that the father of the victim was Puerto Rican and did not want to claim his child’s remains because he was ashamed of his son’s homosexuality.
The publication says this highlights an ongoing problem within the Latino community, where hatred towards the LGBT community is still prevalent – especially in Puerto Rico.
“The tale is part of the untold stories of the Latino victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre,” the article reads.
The article goes on to highlight the long fight to recognise gay rights in Puerto Rico – where homophobia is still engrained to everyday life.
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“The pain of being Puerto Rican and gay is real,” the outlet wrote.
“In the island’s macho culture (relative to the states), anti-gay bias is not subtle and has reached the highest levels of government.”
The Advocate added that the incident harked back to the height of the AIDs crisis, during which “countless numbers of young gay men died and family members did not claim the bodies of their so-called loved ones.”
The names of the men involved were not released so as not to “further victimise the deceased.”
Fortunately, the Orange County Medical Examiner and Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System convinced other family members living in Orlando to claim the body and arrange a funeral.