The Lines That Join Us: Part III

People remembering loss and celebrating survival through their unique tattoos created in response to the Pulse tragedy

Each portrait is accompanied by a brief narrative, and this collection will introduce you to the stories of Danielle Cosgrove, Daniel Ziegler, and Raymond Sharpe, three of the many who have chosen to honor the 49 and greater LGBTQIA+ community in this way.

Each portrait is accompanied by a brief narrative, and this collection will introduce you to the stories of CiCi Bianchini, Elena Taylor, and Erin Andersen, three of the many who have chosen to honor the 49 and greater LGBTQIA+ community in this way.

CiCi Bianchini & Elena Taylor by Carrie MoranOrlando Public Library

CiCi Bianchini & Elena Taylor

In their 2017 interview, it was hard to believe that Elena and CiCi had been together for five years, because they embodied that joy that comes with new love.
They looked at each other with tenderness, even when poking fun at one another, which was often.

CiCi grew up in Orlando, and met Elena there while she was in school. The couple had since moved to Tampa, but still felt a strong connection to Orlando.

Pulse was a second home for the couple. Elena spent eight years living in Orlando, and in that time became friends with Eddie Sotomayor, one of the 49.
It was CiCi’s first gay bar, and her first bar backing job. She was at Pulse most weekend days every week.

Elena was a physical therapist, and wanted a real EKG line for her tattoo.

CiCi found a design she liked on Instagram, and modified it to represent her feeling that Orlando “is just one city and one pulse.”
She followed that by saying, “I will always bleed my city.”

The couple had tried to get back to Orlando whenever they could. They especially missed their friends, family, and the farmers' market.

Erin Andersen by Carrie MoranOrlando Public Library

Erin Andersen

Erin in three words: gregarious, positive, and inspiring. Her tattoo joined a patchwork of others, many related to the Dave Matthews Band. Erin loved DMB, and after Pulse she sold ribbons at shows to raise money for the One Orlando Fund.

She moved to Orlando in 2006, and initially worked at Disney, where she met Brandon Wolf, a Pulse survivor, and Xavier Serrano Rosado, one of the 49.

In those scary weeks following Pulse, Erin spent as much time as she could driving supplies from The GLBT Center to local hospitals and blood banks. She helped raise money for Xavier’s funeral, and bought his son presents for Christmas.

Erin chose to get her tattoo for many reasons, but ultimately to honor her friend and community. She chose the infinity and Orlando Strong elements, and tattoo artist Jessi Lee from Design Lab added the rainbow watercolor.

The proceeds from Erin’s tattoo went to charity, and she has worn it proudly on her arm. In her work at the drive-thru window for Starbucks, Erin has been overwhelmed with compliments and requests to take photos of her tattoo.

She had continued to visit Pulse often and remarked, “I feel comfort there. You can be crying on the sidewalk and someone will come up and give you a hug.” Erin and I left as friends, with a hug.

Credits: Story

Carrie Moran, 2017.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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