Shooter Omar Mateen may have been gay, having asked a high school guy out on dates, messaged guys on gay dating apps and even frequented Pulse
As tributes from around the world surge in to express solidarity with the Orlando victims and their loved ones, details about the murderer and his life begin to emerge, with a former high school classmate reporting that Mateen asked him out.
“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former peer explained.
“He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him. He was always socially awkward.”
Reports are coming in that Mateen was also active on gay dating apps Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam.
MSNBC got in touch with one of the men who had been messaged by Mateen, Cord Cedeno.
“I recognise him from one of the apps,” Cedeno said in reference to Grindr “but I instantly blocked him because he was very creepy in his messages. I blocked him immediately. Yeah, I recognise him off Grindr. The one of him in the tie,” the man declared in reference to the selfie of Mateen below.
Omar Mateen has also been recognised as a frequenter of Pulse nightclub.
“Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” Ty Smith is reported as saying.
A performer at the club, Kristina McLaughlin (Chris Callen) told the Canadian Press that Mateen had been going to Pulse “for at least three years.”
Smith explained that Mateen was able to let loose at Pulse: “He couldn’t drink when he was at home – around his wife, or family. His father was really strict… He used to bitch about it.”
Mateen’s father has expressed that his son was angered by two men kissing, however if Mateen was in fact harbouring gay feelings they may have been tempered by an internalised homophobia which manifested itself in the atrocity of Sunday morning.
While Mateen’s father indicated that his son’s actions “had nothing to do with religion,” it is not possible to fully discount religion from the motivations behind his son’s actions.
Societal influencers such as familial upbringing, education, religion and other factors can contribute to internalised homophobia which could be linked to detrimental effects on mental health, and in the case of Omar Mateen, may have been a driving factor in his actions on Sunday night.
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