Pulse nightclub survivor helps celebrate LI Gay Pride Month

Posted: Updated:
LONG BEACH -

A Long Island tribute is being planned for the victims and survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.

Authorities in Florida have also released bodycam footage of the firefight that erupted when police stormed the building. Forty-nine people were killed that night. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police during the three-hour standoff.

Javier Nava says he doesn't need to watch the video -- because he lived it. He was at the nightclub with his husband and a group of friends.

Nava says his group scattered after the sound of gunfire rang out. He didn't know whether to stay down on the ground or head for cover. He was shot in the stomach.

"I was thinking it was the last day of my life," he says. He survived, but many of his friends did not.

Nava was in Long Beach Thursday afternoon to help kick off Long Island Pride Month. He helped raise the rainbow flag at City Hall ahead of the city's three-day Pride Festival next weekend.

"We're bringing together all different groups, all different communities, all different constituencies who are fighting for safety and equality," says David Kilmnick, of the LGBT Network.

As for Nava, he says he's tired of seeing what hatred can do.

"We need to see pretty things, beautiful things," he says.

The Long Island Pride Festival runs next Friday through Sunday and features musical guests, children's activities and a memorial to the Orlando shooting victims.

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