Social media lit up Monday with statements of love and images of #TwoMenKissing in defiance of what the Orlando gunman’s father described as his son’s strong anti-gay feelings.
The Afghan-born father of Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old gunman who killed 49 people at the packed Pulse nightclub in Florida on Sunday, told NBC News that his son had become angry recently after seeing two men kissing in Miami.
The interview prompted Twitter user Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky), who identifies herself as a showrunner for Amazon, to post a collage of male couples kissing.
While Petosky claimed her post immediately lost her 200 followers on Twitter, it was liked more than a thousand times.
The hashtag #TwoMenKissing began to trend on Twitter on Monday and also crossed over to Facebook, where more than 1,000 people were discussing it.
“Seeing #TwoMenKissing should never be an excuse for violence or bigotry,” tweeted Stephen Wood (@StephenWood_UK) on Monday, sharing an image of two men embracing on a subway car.
“It should warm our romantic hearts.”
— Stephen Wood (@StephenWood_UK) June 13, 2016
“#TwoMenKissing...Best way I know how to respond today. With love. #Orlando,” tweeted Carl Sciortino (@CarlSciortino), the executive director of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, alongside a black and white intimate photograph.
According to Amobee Brand Intelligence, a marketing technology company, the #TwoMenKissing hashtag has been tweeted more than 3,500 times.