#TwoMenKissing spreads love in defiance of Orlando killer

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Fear But Defiance in LGBT Community

June 13 (Reuters) - Social media lit up Monday with statements of love and images of #TwoMenKissing in defiance of what the Orlando gunman's father described as his son's strong anti-gay feelings.

SEE ALSO: Orlando gunman likely 'radicalized' through internet, US says

The Afghan-born father of Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old gunman who killed 49 people at the packed Pulse nightclub in Florida on Sunday, told NBC News that his son had become angry recently after seeing two men kissing in Miami.

The interview prompted Twitter user Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky), who identifies herself as a showrunner for Amazon, to post a collage of male couples kissing.

While Petosky claimed her post immediately lost her 200 followers on Twitter, it was liked more than a thousand times. The hashtag #TwoMenKissing began to trend on Twitter on Monday and also crossed over to Facebook, where more than 1000 people were discussing it.

Pride events in quake of Orlando massacre:

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LGBT pride month, pride events in wake of Orlando shooting
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#TwoMenKissing spreads love in defiance of Orlando killer
Mourners gather under a LGBT pride flag flying at half-mast for a candlelight vigil in remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, from San Diego, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies are seen behind a girl riding in a bus at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, after a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A man carries a sign supporting both the Orlando shooting victims and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, following the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
Chris Hemming (L) and Tristan Davison join in a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub during a Pride Month block party in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
People take part in the March of Equality, organized by LGBT and human rights activists in Kiev, Ukraine, June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: Women hold onto each other during a brief moment of silence to kick off the annual DC Pride Festival on Pennsylvania Ave. June 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: James Sharif, 24, of Alexandria, VA, said about the Orlando shooting, 'I think its a shame that people are doing this to wonderful people Hopefully people will begin to love wholly and all this hate will stop' at the DC Pride Festival June 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - 2016/06/12: Participants take part at the Gay Pride parade in Kiev, Ukraine. Representatives of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) organizations and their supporters took part in the peaceful 'Equality March'.The purpose of the parade is to overcome discrimination and achieve equality for all social groups and minorities in Ukraine. (Photo by Vasyl Shevchenko/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A large LGBT pride flag flies at half-mast during a candlelight vigil in remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, from San Diego, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Kristen Jaeger holds a sign of remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
Brandon Joyce carries a sign of remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A woman looks out her window with the Gay pride flag hanging during a vigil for the Orlando massacre victims in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Ciaran Lithgow of Washington, DC holds a sign of condolence for victims of the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early this morning in Washington June 12, 2016. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
A parade marcher holds a sign in memory of the victims of the attack on a gay night club in Orlando, Florida at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A man waves a rainbow flag in front of two Boston Police vehicles outside a Pride Month block party in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016 the same day as the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A Boston Police Officer stands behind flowers left at a Pride Month block party, the same day as the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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"Seeing #TwoMenKissing should never be an excuse for violence or bigotry," tweeted Stephen Wood (@StephenWood_UK) on Monday, sharing an image of two men embracing on a subway car. "It should warm our romantic hearts."

"#TwoMenKissing...Best way I know how to respond today. With love. #Orlando," tweeted Carl Sciortino (@CarlSciortino), the executive director of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, alongside a black and white intimate photograph.

Daniel MacKinnon, creative director of Glow magazine, shared an up-close image of him kissing a man on his Instagram (@danielmackinnon) with the caption "#twomenkissing #loveislove #orlando."

According to Amobee Brand Intelligence, a marketing technology company, the #TwoMenKissing hashtag has been tweeted more than 3,500 times. (Reporting by Melissa Fares)

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