Long Beach Pride: Pulse nightclub survivors to pay tribute to shooting victims

During the Long Beach Pride Parade, Milan D’Marco and Brian Reagan, below, will help pay tribute to the 49 people who were murdered during the June 12 shooting at the LGBTQ nightclub. Photos: Long Beach Pride.

LONG BEACH — Two survivors from last year’s shooting massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub — the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ people in United States history — will participate in a special tribute before the Long Beach Pride Parade, according to a press statement released Thursday.

The pre-parade show will begin at 9:30 a.m. on May 21 at the parade grandstand on Ocean Boulevard between Junipero and Cherry avenues and feature Brian Reagan and Milan D’Marco, who will help pay tribute to the 49 people who were murdered during the June 12 shooting at the LGBTQ nightclub.

“We are very much honored to join Long Beach Pride and the LGBTQ Long Beach community for this special tribute,” Reagan said in the statement. “As a survivor, that terrible day has forever changed me as a person. As a member of the international LGBTQ community, I know now more than ever that it is my duty to encourage love in all lives so that we all can heal together to prevent such atrocities against the human race.”

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Brian Reagan is a former manager at Pulse nightclub and one of the survivors from the June 12 massacre. Milan D’Marco, upper right, is a former dancer at the club.

The parade will take place May 21 at 10:30 a.m., stepping off at Ocean Boulevard and Lindero Avenue and marching west to Alamitos Avenue.

The Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival takes place May 20 and 21 along Shoreline Drive.

With the one-year anniversary of the shooting approaching, Barbara Poma, owner of Pulse nightclub and executive director and CEO of onePULSE Foundation, announced at a Thursday press conference plans to create a permanent memorial honoring the 49 people murdered and the 68 injured survivors as well as the first responders and healthcare professionals who treated them.

A fund will support the construction and maintenance of the memorial, community grants to care for the survivors and victims’ families, endowed scholarships for each of the 49 victims and a museum showcasing artifacts and stories from the event.

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About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBT community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBT students.