Orlando club owner opened Pulse to celebrate her brother who died of AIDS

Tricia Gilbride
Inside The Pulse Nightclub -- What We Know
Inside The Pulse Nightclub -- What We Know



Pulse, the gay nightclub where 50 people were killed, during Pride Month, was built as a tribute to the founder's brother who died of AIDS.

Barbara Poma and Ron Legler opened Pulse in 2004 with the promise that it's, "not just another gay club." They created the space to celebrate Poma's brother, John, and raise awareness for the LGBTQ community.

Now, the space she created as act of love for her brother has been tarnished by an act of violence.

SEE ALSO: Gunman kills 50 at Orlando club in worst mass shooting in US history

"(We) coined the name Pulse for John's heartbeat — as a club that is John's inspiration, where he is kept alive in the eyes of his friends and family," according to Pulse's website.

Poma started going to gay clubs at age 14 with her older brother, John, "At that time, the gay scene was a misunderstood culture that was shrouded in secrecy and mystery," the write-up stated.

Their strict Italian family embraced John, who died of AIDS in 2001, and now Poma is working to fight the disease that tragically cut her brother's life short.

The club supports numerous charities, including Equal at UCF, Make A Wish, Zebra Coalition, Equality Florida, Out4Immigration, Miracle of Love, Hope and Help (benefiting the AIDS walk), Come Out With Pride, Gay Games Orlando 2018.

Pulse was hosting Latin Night when the shooting occurred.

Photo coverage of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando: