QUEER VOICES

Tyler Perry Visits Pulse Memorial During Orlando Tour Stop

The comedian acknowledged the "beautiful lives cut short by senseless evil" before meeting with the mother of one of the 49 victims.

Tyler Perry took a moment to pay tribute to the 49 victims of the 2016 Pulse attack while visiting Orlando, Florida, for his national tour. 

On Sunday the actor-comedian visited an interim memorial that has been erected at the site of the former gay nightclub. 

“So many beautiful lives cut short by senseless evil,” he wrote on Instagram. “My heart and prayers are with the living as my soul weeps for the victims.”

The same day, Perry met with Mina Justice, the mother of Eddie Justice, a 30-year-old accountant who was among those killed ― most of whom identified as LGBTQ ― when Omar Mateen opened fire inside the nightclub on June 12, 2016.  

Pulse owner Barbara Poma, who now serves as the executive director of the onePulse Foundation, told HuffPost that her organization was honored to host Perry, who has also visited Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami as part of his Madea’s Farewell Play Tour

“We are eternally grateful for his support and for his message of love, hope, healing and compassion,” she said. “His kindness and warm spirit brought comfort and laughter where it has been missing.”

A number of Perry’s projects, including 2010’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?” and the series “The Haves and the Have Nots” have been criticized for their portrayal of LGBTQ characters. 

In 2016, however, he was among the Hollywood heavyweights to speak out against Georgia’s House Bill 757. That “religious liberty” bill, which was eventually vetoed by then-Gov. Nathan Deal, would have allowed faith-based organizations to turn away LGBTQ patrons in the Peach State, where Perry’s production studio is based. 

Madea’s Farewell Play Tour wraps May 26 in Atlanta. 

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

CONVERSATIONS