Orlando Cruz, the first professional gay boxer to continue competing, will dedicate his next fight to the shooting victims at Pulse.
Cruz lost four friends in the shooting that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured 53.
‘At first, I was sad,’ Cruz told the Orlando Sentinel. ‘Second, angry. I am very angry because people are homophobic, so they attacked my community. They attacked me.’
On 15 July, just over two months after the deadliest mass shooting and homophobic attack in US history, Cruz will ring 10 bells at his fight in Kissimmee, Florida to pay tribute to the victims and their families.
The fighter has said his outfit will ‘homage’ those who have been lost.
Cruz was unable to attend the victims’ funerals because of training camp, but went to visit Pulse on Tuesday. He brought gloves and flowers to lay at the memorial.
When the boxer came out in 2012, he said: ‘They can call me maricón, or faggot, and I don’t care. Let them say it because they can’t hurt me now. I am relaxed. I feel so happy.
‘But to make this announcement to the whole world I had to be very strong. … I am proud to be Puerto Rican, just like I am proud to be a gay man.’
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