In June of this year, America was shocked as a gunman opened fire at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which catered to gay clientele. The shooter, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and injured another 50 in his shooting rampage, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history. Victims filled local emergency rooms with horrific injuries and the gunman was later killed during a police SWAT team assault.
Now something positive has occurred with many of the surviving victims that faced staggering hospital bills. It was announced that Orlando Regional Medical Center, which treated most of the survivors and Florida Hospital will not bill the survivors of the attack for treatment. The news comes as welcome relief to the victims, whose combined care reached a staggering sum of close to $5.5 million. Instead, the hospitals will seek payment from other resources, including insurance plans and victims’ funds established by city officials and others. According to a statement from Orlando Health regarding sources for payment, “These include state and federal funds, private insurance, victim funds like the One Orlando fund, disability insurance, Florida’s crime victim compensation program, funding sources established for individual victims, means-tested programs like Medicaid, as well as charity care provided by Orlando Health.”
This act of goodwill reflects the fact that the entire community of Orlando was impacted by the shooting and support was high for the victims of the attack.
Since the shooting, it has been reported that Mateen was conflicted not only about his life, but also his sexuality. Multiple sources claimed that Mateen exhibited behavior that indicated he was a closeted gay man. It was revealed that he used the gay dating app “Jack’d” as well as “Tinder” and “Grinder” to meet men before the shooting.
Mateen’s behavior seems to be in line with a condition called mascupathy, a term coined by psychologist Dr. Randy Flood. In his book Mascupathy: Understanding and Healing the Malaise of American Manhood, it is defined as “As a mental health disorder, a pathology of masculinity, stemming from a socialized exaggeration of genetic masculine traits — aggression and invulnerability — and a reduction of inherent feminine characteristics — openness and sensitivity. The symptomology — inadequate self-awareness and governance, emotional numbness and instability as well as relational ineptness, instability and withdrawal — results in deficient intimate partnerships and parenting, excessive competition and one-upmanship, and violence against women and others.”
“The root of this problem is our idea of what manhood means in our Western culture. What is weak and what is strong, these things are confused and keep us out of touch with our emotions and damages our relationships,” Dr. Flood told rolling out.