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Family of Pulse shooting victim speaks ahead of 5-year anniversary

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jun 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-12 19:57:12-04

Brownsville native Julissa Escalante misses her brother, Frank Escalante -- one of the 49 people killed at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida, in 2016 -- every day.

"I can't call you when i need something," she said. "I can't talk to you when I need someone to talk to. It was just very difficult when we found out this happened."

In the five years since, though, Julissa and Esmeralda Escalante, Frank's mother, are heartened to see that positive changes have come for the LGBTQ community.

"I don' t think that we should be sad about it -- they would want us to be happy," she said. "I always try to think of the positive that came out of this, this has changed a lot of people's view on the LGBTQ community."

Julissa and Esmeralda have traveled to Florida to visit the memorial at Pulse.

Esmeralda said that some parents might not accept their children for being LGBTQ, but she said that you never know when your child might not be here anymore and encourages those parents to reconsider.

"We worry for things that we don't even know are going to happen," Esmeralda said. "Love them very much, and treat them like any one else, that was my error."