July 2018 Issue #19 July 2018 Issue #19 4Guys - Page 91

Tell us about the real Pulse, the nightclub you came to know and love… Barbara: Pulse was a collaborative idea between my best friend and I. He was my gay best friend and wanted to own a gay bar his whole life. For me, having lost my brother to HIV/AIDS in the early 90s, it was a way for me to reconnect to a com- munity I loved and lost. It also gave me a platform to educate people about HIV and prevention. Brian: I first started working at Pulse in 2014. I moved to Florida when I was 18 in 2004 and it actually ended up being the first gay nightclub I ever went to. It’s the place where I met most of my friends when I first moved and it’s a place that stayed in my heart became it became like a family. I never thought I’d be able to bring my parents to a gay nightclub but this was the first time since I came out of the closest I was able to take my mum and dad to Pulse, and a lot of families actually went there. I even saw parents in the front row cheering on their sons in drag and giving them dollar bills and hollering for them. Pulse was a place that welcomed and catered for everybody, then? Barbara: We had a different format for every day of the week so it had a little bit for everyone. On Tuesday night, it was our amateur contest that gave a young crowd who were exploring their craft – drag, singing – the opportunity to perfect it and try it out on the stage. Wednesday was a college crowd, Fridays were hip- hop, and on Saturday we had our Latin night. Although we played Latin music in the main room, we also played hip-hop and Top 40 in others. We attracted almost every demographic you could imagine and that was our goal, and everyone had a place where they fit in. A place that was comfortable for them. 91