A Tribute to the Victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre

Pulse eye

By Julie Oshins, “Play It Forward”

I had planned to write about something else, and normally I offer you tips to apply to your DJ business or your personal growth. It didn’t feel authentic to write about anything else but the life-altering event of June 12th at Pulse Nightclub.

I was driving down the PCH in Los Angeles 4 days after the massacre in Orlando. Tell Me Why? by Bronski Beat came on the radio, and the reality of what had happened finally hit me. I pulled over and parked by the ocean and cried for like half an hour.

I lived in Orlando for 5 years while in college, and often frequented the gay bars there. Everyone knows the gay bars always have the best music and strongest drinks. Or at least that was true back in the day. A meme started on Facebook where people were answering the question, “ What was the first gay bar you went to?” For me it was Fire & Ice in Miami and I was 16. (I had a great fake ID! Haha)

The next morning I posted a quote on my Facebook by transformational leader Werner Erhard “ You can be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family. You can make your love for the world be what your life is really about.” This was my explanation for why I was mourning the senseless murder of people I “didn’t know”.

I have DJd at gay bars before, as I’m sure many of us have, or still do. This could have been any of us . . . certainly we never think that it could be a life or death situation when we go to work. What would I do if I were in that situation? Would I know how to handle it? I don’t even know how to use a gun. I haven’t taken any self-defense training. It was sobering to say the least. Would you know what to do?

You may have heard that Pulse DJ Ray Rivera helped save club goers by using his DJ booth for cover. I empathize with the trauma he expresses in interviews: “ I never imagined I would be at anything like this. It was so terrible.”

So, I thought I would share this basic knowledge as a cheat sheet. According to NHS, here is how you respond to an active shooter:

  1. RUN
  • Have an active escape plan
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Keep your hands visible
  1. HIDE
  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
  • Silence your cell phone
  1. FIGHT
  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the shooter


Whatever you believe, the international solidarity that has happened as a result of this horrific event gives me hope. The LBGTQ Community gets things DONE. And now their focus is gun control.

And finally, the ability of music to heal and unite was demonstrated worldwide. Locally, A chorus of Broadway celebrities raised their voices in song in response to the massacre. Sara Bareilles, Carole King, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sarah Jessica Parker and dozens more gathered at Avatar Studios to sing a benefit single of “What the World Needs Now is Love.” You can get the digital download of the single. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida.

Love Must Prevail. Be safe out there my friends.

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