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Drag Queen Says Orlando Gunman Omar Mateen Wasn't Homophobic


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Years before he shot up an Orlando gay club in what became the largest mass shooting in American history, Omar Mateen regularly picked up lunch from a drag queen at Ruby Tuesday’s. He may have even gone to see a drag show or two, a former high school classmate told The Daily Beast.

About 10 years ago, Mateen, a few years out of high school, was working at the supplement store GNC. Samuel King, a year ahead of him in high school, was working next door at the restaurant chain. Mateen was a few years out of playing football in high school while King, who is openly gay, had long, flowing extensions, and prettier hair than most of his female coworkers.

“He always had a smile on his face,” King told The Daily Beast on Sunday. “Maybe it’s because he was working in customer service.”

After seeing the trending news story about the Orlando shooting, King posted his disbelief on Facebook. “I can’t believe i knew this dude…. He worked at GNC at the treasure coast mall when i was at Ruby Tuesday’s and he Graduated from the same high school in 2004,” he wrote. “He was a jokester and at the time didn’t have an issue with the LGBT community.”

Mateen’s father told NBC News that Mateen “got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thought that might be related to the shooting.”

But King saw none of that homophobia. Quite the opposite: he said that Mateen knew that he and many of his coworkers at Ruby Tuesday’s were gay, and didn’t seem to have a problem with it. “That’s the thing that’s pinning me to the wall the most, that it was a gay nightclub,” he said. “Because he would come into the [the restaurant] and laugh with us.”

“He might've even sat down at the bar and had a drink and laughed with the bartenders, knowing that they were lesbians,” King added.

These interactions shed new light on a man believed to be motivated by blind hatred for gay people. By the end of his rampage, Mateen had killed 50 people and wounded 53 others in the worst mass shooting in American history, and the most deadly terror attack on U.S. soil since the September 11th attacks. In the middle of his attack on a sea of dancing young men, Mateen call 911 and pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS, announcing himself as a terrorist and mentioning the Boston marathon attackers.

Yet if Mateen was religious, King didn’t know it, and the topic of religion never came up in conversations. Instead, the two men would greet each other on the street. King likely showed him, like the rest of the employees and regulars, photos in full costume from his performances.

“I can’t pinpoint a date that he went with us, but he probably gone there with us once,” he said.

But later co-workers described Mateen’s demeanor as aggressive and anti-gay. Daniel Gilroy, who worked with Mateen at the security company G4S, told Florida Todaythat he was “unhinged and unstable.”

“I quit because everything he said was toxic, and the company wouldn’t do anything,” Gilroy told the news outlet. “This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.”

This just goes to show the power of ISIS propaganda tbh. :'( 

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Sorry, but I don't think this queen really understands how homophobes work. They're not going to always go up to you and tell you you're a hell bound f-g and try to murder you on the spot; they hide their hatred well.

My father in law does this all the time. He's the most racist person I've  ever met. He drops the n-word every few sentences, he legitimately wants slavery to come back, he's an active member of the KKK and attends a very bigoted church - our state's equivalent to Westboror.  Yet when he's around a person of color in public he doesn't treat them differently  - he saves his ignorance for like minded people. Him holding the door open or saying 'good morning' doesn't make him any less racist. Bigots are aware that their way of thinking isn't acceptable anymore so they hide it until they know they won't be challenged. 

 Homophobes do this same shit. Acknowledging someone's existence or treating them like a human being when it's convenient doesn't mean that they're in support of you. He could have been homophobic for years and just not shown it. 

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1 hour ago, trayertrash said:

Sorry, but I don't think this queen really understands how homophobes work. They're not going to always go up to you and tell you you're a hell bound f-g and try to murder you on the spot; they hide their hatred well.

My father in law does this all the time. He's the most racist person I've  ever met. He drops the n-word every few sentences, he legitimately wants slavery to come back, he's an active member of the KKK and attends a very bigoted church - our state's equivalent to Westboror.  Yet when he's around a person of color in public he doesn't treat them differently  - he saves his ignorance for like minded people. Him holding the door open or saying 'good morning' doesn't make him any less racist. Bigots are aware that their way of thinking isn't acceptable anymore so they hide it until they know they won't be challenged. 

 Homophobes do this same shit. Acknowledging someone's existence or treating them like a human being when it's convenient doesn't mean that they're in support of you. He could have been homophobic for years and just not shown it. 

Made some good points trayer, i'm conflicted. Honestly it doesn't matter now anyway. I guess this is more for some people's comfort to know that he could've at one time been a good person. Violence is stupid. 

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On 6/14/2016 at 5:37 AM, trashmagic said:

It was clearly a homophobic attack. There's no two ways about it.

I don't think that can be proven, but it seems like a pretty likely chance.

It now turns out that the guy was a regular at the club and had hit up multiple people on gay dating apps. So it looks like both sides of the story were true - he was a homophobe but he was also gay himself. That mixed with religious extremism and ridiculous gun laws just made for a tragic situation. :'( 

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1 hour ago, Countess said:

I don't think that can be proven, but it seems like a pretty likely chance.

It now turns out that the guy was a regular at the club and had hit up multiple people on gay dating apps. So it looks like both sides of the story were true - he was a homophobe but he was also gay himself. That mixed with religious extremism and ridiculous gun laws just made for a tragic situation. :'( 

It's possible that he was gay, but there's also suspicions that he was straight and was using gay dating apps in order to try to find the best place to target. Either way, most homophobes are closeted homosexuals, so it's likely that he probably was gay.

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On 6/15/2016 at 8:00 PM, trashmagic said:

It's possible that he was gay, but there's also suspicions that he was straight and was using gay dating apps in order to try to find the best place to target. Either way, most homophobes are closeted homosexuals, so it's likely that he probably was gay.

True that. :/ Regardless of his or the victims sexuality tho, it's still a tragic situation. :'( 

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