Christopher “Drew” Leinonen

Portrait by Maria Azarraga

Christopher “Drew” Leinonen earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology at the University of Central Florida, and worked as a licensed mental health counselor. In high school, he started a gay-straight alliance and more recently he won the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award for his work in the gay community. A friend, Brandon Wolf, said of Drew: “We all have those once-in-a-lifetime people, the kind of people who force you to think differently, speak differently and love differently, the kind of people who stroll into your life and quietly change the way you live it. Drew was my once-in-a-lifetime person.” And of the relationship between he and his partner Juan Ramon Guerrero, also killed at Pulse: “He [Drew Leinonen] and Juan were the love we wish to see in the world, the kind that pulls people together, breaks down walls, the kryptonite to hate.”
Artist’s website: muramata.co

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