Sunday began with one of the deadliest shootings in American history — at least 49 people were killed and more than 50 were injured. The attack took place at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, and the suspect was an American Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS the night of the attack.

Miami Beach Police Department

As law enforcement agencies try to piece together  what happened Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando, when at least 50 people were gunned down, many in South Florida wonder about security and how to protect themselves and those they love from similar attacks. 

  "Every time there is a pride event, there is that fear that exists, especially since we have seen the passage of marriage equality," says Cindy Brown, Miami-Dade development officer for Equality Florida, the largest LGBTQ rights advocacy group in the state. 


On Sunday morning, a gunman at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Fla., perpetrated the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. He killed 49 people and injured more than 50.

The city of Orlando has released the names of the identified victims, after notifying their next of kin.

Orlando Nightclub Shooting: How to Help

Jun 12, 2016
Lynare Robbins / Courtesy

A shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando has left 50 dead and more injured, reported to be the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Sunday morning.

There are a number of opportunities in South Florida to support the victims and their families.

Attend a vigil

Miami Beach Bans Conversion Therapy For Minors

Jun 9, 2016
Nick Swyter / the Miami Herald

Miami Beach is the latest city in the country to ban a controversial form of therapy that professes to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. The city commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to ban conversion therapy for minors under the age of 18.  And from now on, anyone caught practicing it might be slapped with a fine of two-hundred dollars a day. Miami Beach Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemàn sponsored the ban.

For the first time, Florida’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention will include an openly transgender individual.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Marco Ramirez graduates in about a month with a master’s degree in social work from Florida International University.

Ramirez, 25, is a transgender man and he says when looking for employment there are always unnecessary hurdles. 

Gender nonconforming and trans job seekers struggle to find inclusive workplaces.

And Ramirez adds,  when he does snag a job, there are always inappropriate questions about his gender identity. 

Where a mainstream fashion magazine might do a special "black issue," like Italian Vogue back in 2008, or a black lifestyle magazine might run a queer feature, the perspective of queer black folks tends to occupy occasional outskirts in fashion and lifestyle glossies, never the mainstay.

Tim Padgett / WLRN

Ana Marrero pulls back her shirt sleeve and holds out her left arm.

“Look, in Cuban prisons I tried on various occasions to kill myself with knives,” she says.

She counts the succession of healed scars on her forearm. They look like horizontal tally marks.

“Uno, dos, tres, quarto, cinco, seis, siete, ocho,” she counts in Spanish.

Eight times.

These days, it’s a lot easier to travel between the U.S. and Cuba, but some Cubans have no interest in going back to their homeland.

Ben Kushner

For a while in the late 1980s, Jeff Schmalz was the Miami bureau chief for the New York Times. That was before he was completely out of the closet, and Miami was one of the places in the country where he felt comfortable as a gay man.

Courtesy of LJ Woolston

November is Transgender Awareness Month and a number of events took place across South Florida to celebrate the trans community and raise awareness around key issues affecting transgender individuals including homelessness, unemployment and violence.  

As the month comes to an end, we asked members of South Florida's transgender community to share their thoughts. Here's what they had to say:


 L.J. Woolston, Homeless Liaison for LGBTQ Youth at ProjectSafe

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Fort Lauderdale rolled out the rainbow carpet 20 years ago to gay travelers. Today, it is a go-to travel destination for the gay and lesbian community.

But something was missing.

Richard Gray, the LGBT managing director for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, said while the transgender community was always welcome, he felt there wasn’t enough focus on transgender travelers.

Courtesy Arianna Lint

The TransLatina Coalition, a national transgender advocacy group, has started its first Florida chapter in Fort Lauderdale.

The group plans to provide a wide range of services for the  transgender community,  including a safe space for trans women who are victims of domestic violence.

Arianna  Lint is a transgender woman and president of the Fort Lauderdale TransLatina Coalition chapter.

My TransHealth Video Screengrab

A new website will make it easier for Miami's transgender community to access healthcare providers who are experienced in working with trans individuals.

MyTransHealth is a website developed for transgender people by transgender people. The site will connect transgender people with qualified medical professionals and also allow users to rate and review them.