Gay leader who guided Florida through Pulse massacre has died

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Terry DeCarlo, chief communications officer for the LGBT Center of Central Florida, was integral in supporting the community through the Pulse nightclub shooting. (Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Terry DeCarlo, who helped guide Florida’s LGBT+ community through the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting, has died ahed 57.

On June 12, 2016, a man laid siege to an Orlando gay club nestled between a Dunkin’ Doughnuts and a Wendy’s, killing 49 and wounding dozens.

It became the deadliest attack on the LGBT+ community in decades, raising a spectre of violence that haunted the community for years since.

DeCarlo became a hero and leader to many of the survivors and locals.

However, his husband of 22 years, Bill Huelsman, said on Facebook that DeCarlo died Monday night of cancer complications, the Associated Press reported.

‘Terry DeCarlo put the weight of the world on his shoulders after Pulse’, say survivor.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to post this. But I need to let everyone know that I lost the love of my life last night,” Huelsman wrote.

“The cancer was just too aggressive for treatment.”

Terry DeCarlo leads peaceful protesters demonstrating against the hate-spewing Westboro(Melissa Lyttle for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Countless community leaders, LGBT+ activists, lawmakers and loved ones shared tribute for DeCarlo on Twitter.

Brandon Wolf, one of the survivors of the Pulse shooting, tweeted that DeCarlo “put the weight of the world on his shoulders after Pulse – when it get like everything was falling apart – held out community together.”

OnePulse Foundation – a non-profit set-up by a pocket of survivors – also said that members are “heartbroken by the passing of our dear friend.”

State representative Carlos Smith tweeted: “My heart is broken with the news of Terry DeCarlo’s passing.

“Terry was a lifelong advocate for LGBTQ Floridians and he led Orlando through the aftermath of Pulse when we needed him most.”

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