Gay College Athlete Competing In Triathlon To Raise Money For Pulse Victims

"The victims of the Pulse shooting...helped me to not be afraid. They inspired me to be resilient and embrace myself unconditionally."

A Dartmouth student is turning his mourning over the Pulse nightclub massacre into inspiration by competing in the Ironman triathlon to raise money for the victims of the attack.

Phil Claudy expressed the sentiments that many members of the LGBT community felt on the morning of June 12 — that the shooting felt personal, like it was an attack on us all.

The athlete said the horrific event inspired him to take action, and he signed up for the September 25 Chattanooga triathlon in order to do his part to help those affected.

“I am taking the lessons I learned from the LGBT community —€”€” from these individuals —€” and doing what I can to honor their lives and further the equality they earned for the LGBT community, for society and for me,” he wrote for OutSports.

Claudy is participating in the triathlon in order to raise money for OneOrlando, an organization helping the tragedy’s victims and their families.

The college junior says it was actually his love for running that helped him to fight depression and come to terms with his own sexuality, and now he is hoping to spread what he’s learned to others in need.

“In working with OneOrlando, I am furthering my commitment to embrace every aspect of myself and to break down stigmas surrounding the LGBT community, just as the victims of the shooting did in living fully and unapologetically as themselves,” he wrote.

Head to Phil’s GoFundMe page to help him to raise money for OneOrlando and the victims of the attack.

h/t: OutSports

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.