Lady Gaga Shares Story from Orlando Shooting Victim’s Friend

By Hayden Wright

Lady Gaga made an emotional appearance at Monday night’s Stonewall vigil in New York for victims of the shooting in Orlando, but Tuesday morning it was back to the gym. She sweated it out through a somber exercise led by an upbeat instructor named Loui. When the Ellie Goulding-soundtracked session was over, the instructor pulled her aside.

Related: Lady Gaga Leads Vigil for Orlando Shooting Victims

“When the class was over I thanked him, he asked if he could say something to me,” Gaga shared in an Instagram post. “I started to instantly tear up. He said ‘I didn’t want to bring it up’ I said ‘of course you should, I’m so sorry.’ He then told me he was at the rally the night before, where I was also, and that he heard me read the names of some of the Orlando victims.”

“He said ‘the first name you read was my friend Eddie.’ I said ‘Edward.’ He said ‘Sotomayor.’ In this moment I was reminded why it’s so important that we protect all people and never doubt the absolute human heart that can always surprise you with its strength and love.”

Read Gaga’s full story below.

I went into an exercise class this morning. The instructor Loui @louipacheco walked in and asked us with a boisterous tone "How is everyone doing today?!!" The room didn't cheer, there was barely a groan over a thick silence as we all stood there in our trauma. Then Loui shouts "Oh no! It's Tuesday.," with an emphatic hand movement, "Today is going to be a good day." As the music rose to the lyrics "when Im with you, I'm standing with an army" and we all climbed together, sweating out our stress and our thoughts, he yelled "today get stronger! and then stronger! And when your finished here go out there and spread that strength to the world." When the class was over I thanked him, he asked if he could say something to me. I started to instantly tear up. He said "I didn't want to bring it up" I said "of course you should, I'm so sorry." He then told me he was at the rally the night before, where I was also, and that he heard me read the names of some of the Orlando victims. He said "the first name you read was my friend Eddie." I said "Edward." He said "Sotomayor." In this moment I was reminded why it's so important that we protect all people and never doubt the absolute human heart that can always suprise you with its strength and love. Loui, a member of the LGBT community, who just lost his friend in the largest isolated shooting our country has ever seen, still showed up for work early in the morning to make ME feel strong. To empower me and all the other men and women in the class to keep going and get stronger so we could help each other. That's why you should never devalue another human, no matter their wrapping, their heart is just like yours and people you never expect to lift you up, will.

A photo posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

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