This is so powerful!
Alejandro Francisco survived the horrific Orlando nightclub shootings, making it out of Pulse Nightclub alive — and now he’s penned an incredible open letter to the shooter about his victims.
On Monday night, Francisco took to XoJane to speak directly to gunman Omar Mateen and list everything that was taken from him — and Orlando’s LGBT community — because of the senseless, needless violence.
In part, Francisco wrote:
“I go to Pulse nightclub in Orlando because I feel comfortable there, and I can be myself. Several of my friends were there that night, including my friend Stanley. I will never see Stanley again. You took that away from me. Saturday night was Latin night, and it was a party vibe because of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. It was a hot night, and the club was filled with life and love and dancing and ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ until you arrived ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ pure joy.”
He also details how narrowly he escaped death:
“My friends and I arrived at Pulse around 11 p.m. I’ve been going to the club for a few years now, and it’s a wonderful place to let loose and really be yourself in Orlando. We had been having an amazing weekend, and we were planning to stay until it closed, but as it turned out, my friend Vincent had the premonition that he wanted to head out before everyone tried to leave at once, since last call was already upon us. My friend Vincent saved my life.”
Francisco’s entire letter is so unbelievably powerful, but it’s his closing — where he lists the name of every single victim that did not survive the tragedy — that is particularly gut-wrenching.
He also writes so eloquently:
“I am so sorry you must not have had [love] in your life. Otherwise, I can’t imagine you would have wanted so badly to end mine … Love did [survive]. Omar, we are stronger than your hate. We always will be.”
Read the full letter HERE.
[Image via Alejandro Francisco.]