Reports: Orlando Shooter Was Active In Orlando's Gay Scene | Gradient

Reports: Orlando shooter was active in Orlando’s gay scene.


The simple fact is that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen’s motives for committing the deadliest mass shooting in American history will probably never fully be parsed. Early investigations reveal a complex web of radicalized religion, deep-seated homophobia, racism, toxic masculinity, and mental instability. However, various reports are now adding one more twist: Mateen frequented the Pulse nightclub he attacked, and had an account on a gay dating app called Jack’d.

Pulse performer Chris Callen told the Canadian Press that “[Mateen] been going to this bar for at least three years,” as frequently as twice a month. Other patrons remember seeing Mateen at Pulse as well, describing him as a quiet man who kept to himself and frequently got drunk to the point of having to be escorted from the bar.

Even more speculation has been opened about Mateen’s sexuality following interviews with his former classmates, many of whom believed he was gay. One former college classmate who was not named, told the Palm Beach Post:

He said Mateen asked him out romantically.

“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” he said.

He believed Mateen was gay, but not open about it. Mateen was awkward, and for a while the classmate and the rest in the group of friends felt sorry for him.

“He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him,” he said. “He was always socially awkward.”

Mateen’s ex-wife, who survived an abusive, year-long relationship with him, reportedly believes that her ex-husband had “gay tendencies.” That’s according to her current boyfriend, who gave an interview to the Brazilian press. He also said that his girlfriend did not believe Mateen was connected to any terrorist groups, a theory which aligns with the FBI’s current belief that he was acting as a lone wolf. He said Mateen’s father would call his son gay at family gatherings, a claim that flies in the face of statements from the older Mateen, who maintained that his son was not gay. “If he was gay, why would he do something like this?” he said.

Of course, many media outlets have engaged in some pop psychological speculation about how being a closeted gay man raised in a conservative religious household could make for a state of self-loathing so intense it led to violence. That’s possible, but that line of thinking makes a lot of assumptions. One thing that can be said is that this makes more certain what was already crystal clear from the outset, though a number of people have been mysteriously hesitant to say it: This was an act of extreme homophobia.

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To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit

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