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I was born in Orlando and had the chance to visit my hometown last weekend.  Orlando is a magical, vibrant, global city with close-knit neighborhoods and a strong sense of community.  It’s been a little over a month since the Pulse shooting on June 12th and you can still feel profound pain throughout the city as it grieves for 49 precious lives lost.  Ryan Murphy, Ned Martel, Chad Griffin, and the team at Ryan Murphy Television created this special tribute video to honor the victims.  It is important that we remember their names and their stories.  These were our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, teammates, and they all died much too soon.

The Broadway and Orlando theatre communities will honor the victims and survivors next week with From Broadway with Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando at Dr. Phillips Center.  The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is donating its services and proceeds will support the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, Hope and Help Center, and Orlando’s Zebra Coalition.

If you didn’t get a ticket to the sold-out show, you can still participate in the incredible silent auction (with everything from theatre props and signed playbills to a “Hamilton” package that includes dinner with Ron Chernow).  Register and bid at qtego.net/qlink/broadwaylove.

Download Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway for Orlando “What the World Needs Now is Love” while you bid.  100% of the proceeds from the sale of the song go to the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida.  Or donate to the OneOrlando Fund (all donations go directly to the victims’ families and the survivors).

What else can we do?  We need to disarm hate by teaching love and acceptance.  The Human Rights Campaign is working to ensure LGBTQ people are safe and equal in every community.  Learn more at:  http://www.hrc.org/StopTheHate

One more thing, gun violence continues to shatter communities across America:  Baton Rouge, Dallas, Orlando, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Newtown, San Bernardino.  It is time for all of us to work together to build safer communities.  Visit Everytown for Gun Safety to get involved in the movement to end gun violence.

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