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.
Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.
Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.
United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?
Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.
If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.
To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.
Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.
Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.
This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.
Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy. During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.
This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.
We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.