ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Terry DeCarlo, who became a spokesman for central Florida’s LGBTQ community after the massacre of 49 patrons at a gay nightclub in 2016, has died. He was 57.
His husband, Bill Huelsman, said on Facebook that DeCarlo died Monday night after a battle with cancer.
DeCarlo was a leader at The Center, a community center for Orlando’s LGBTQ community, at the time of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
“Terry was a lifelong advocate for LGBTQ Floridians and he led Orlando through the aftermath of Pulse when we needed him most. This is a terrible loss for our community,” tweeted state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.
Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan described DeCarlo as “a rock” in the aftermath of the nightclub shooting. She noted that DeCarlo, a veteran, had become a minister so he could marry LGBTQ couples, and he worked with HIV patients to get assistance.
“He worked tirelessly to connect people with resources. But he had been doing this work his whole life,” Sheehan said on Facebook.