In the wake of America’s worst mass shooting in Orlando, the LGBTQI community and their allies spoke out in solidarity—standing for love, unity, and hope. Wayne Lawrence’s portraits show the resilience of a community in mourning.
Featuring: Wayne Lawrence
United Photo Industries & National Geographic
On June 12, 2016, a gunman opened fire in Pulse Nightclub, one of Orlando, Florida’s most popular gay nightclubs, killing 49 people and wounding dozens more. This was the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the worst terrorist attack since 9/11, and the deadliest hate crime against LGBTQI people and Latino people. Conversations around motives, terrorism, gun laws, and civil liberties rose, once again, to the surface of America’s daily discourse.
Pulse was a safe haven for the Orlando LGBTQI community, a space where people felt free, welcomed, and loved. In the days immediately after the attack, as people attended vigils, lined up to donate blood, and struggled to overcome shock and grief, a community targeted by hate found resilience. Supporters and allies came together to speak out in solidarity—standing for love, unity, and hope.
Photographer Wayne Lawrence is known for his sensitive and intimate portraits of Americans of every class, race, and creed. Lawrence spent a week in Orlando gathering the stories of a community that has been battered but not defeated. This story was a digital feature for National Geographic in June 2016.
Wayne Lawrence is a St. Kitts-born documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. His work represents a visual diary of his life’s journey and focuses primarily on communities otherwise overlooked by mainstream media.
His photographs have been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of Art, the FLAG Art Foundation, Amerika Haus (Munich), the Open Society Institute, and the African American Museum of Philadelphia, among other galleries. His work has been published by National Geographic magazine, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, New York magazine, MSNBC, AARP, Smithsonian, People, Time, Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, the Sunday Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Mare, Colors, and Newsweek.
Lawrence’s first monograph, Orchard Beach: The Bronx Riviera, was released by Prestel Publishing in October 2013, with accompanying exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of Art and the FLAG Art Foundation. He is represented by Jed Root Inc.
National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photography to inform people about life on our planet.
It has won 20 National Magazine Awards in the past eight years: for Tablet Magazine and Photography in 2015; for Tablet Magazine and Multimedia in 2014; for General Excellence, Photography, Tablet Magazine and Multimedia in 2013; for Tablet Magazine in 2012; Magazine of the Year and Single-Topic Issue in 2011; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Essays, plus two Digital Media Awards for Best Photography and Best Community in 2010; for Photojournalism in 2009; and for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Reporting in 2008.
The magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society, a global non-profit membership organization, driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. Published in English and with nearly 40 local-language editions, National Geographic magazine has a global circulation of around 6.7 million. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is available at ngm.com and on print and digital newsstands (smartphones and tablet computers).