Editor’s Note: The following are remarks from Colorado leaders and organizations expressing their grief and outrage; and love, and words of support for the LGBTQ community.
There are no words that will undo the horror that continues to devastate our communities. Our safe spaces continue to become places of grief, trauma, and sorrow due to gun violence, mass shootings, and the general disrespect for our human condition. Not one more life should be taken or lost. No one should feel unsafe to celebrate or live authentically in public.
I commend the Colorado Springs first responders, police department, and the courageous Club Q community who worked swiftly to stop the violence.
One Colorado calls on our local, state, and federal lawmakers to go beyond statements and condolences and take swift, exacting action to ensure public safety. It is imperative to protect every single person in our communities–especially our most vulnerable, on which gun violence has taken an enormous toll.
To the courageous Club Q community who experienced this nightmare – I see you, One Colorado is here for you, and your LGBTQ+ community stands with you.
Nadine Bridges, MSW (she/her), One Colorado Executive Director
We Are Holding You In The Light
American Friends Service Committee
On November 19, five people were killed and at least 25 were injured in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs. Patrons who acted quickly to disarm the shooter saved many lives. We yearn for a world where everyone can express their identity and live in safety. Our hearts go out to the victims and survivors, their families, and the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado during this time. We are holding you in the Light.
Club Q had been honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance as part of a week of activities celebrating the transgender community. For the LGBTQ+ community, gathering spaces such as these have been and must be a sanctuary. The club has acted as a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community in a town that hosts organizations which employ openly homophobic and transphobic rhetoric and whose neighboring congressional representative, Lauren Boebert, can be heard on the airwaves and seen online stoking these same hateful ideas.
These horrifying acts of transphobic and homophobic violence compound the ongoing trauma caused by those who empower, disseminate and carry out anti-LGBTQ+ hate and violence across all sectors of society. We are holding in the Light our staff, volunteers, and community members who are particularly impacted by these attacks and the ideology behind them, and we deepen our commitment to work for a world without bigotry and violence. American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) stands in unrelenting solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, today and every day.
We invite people in the Denver area to join a community event and fundraiser for the victims Saturday, Nov. 26, 10am to 2pm at 525 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 organized by @breadandroseslaw.
American Friends Service Committee in Denver, Colorado.
Waking up this morning to hear that another LGBTQ+ nightclub, this time in my hometown of Colorado Springs, was attacked by a heavily armed gunman has left me devastated and numb. I am sure fury and heartache will follow in the days to come.
To those impacted by this hate-motivated act of violence – the victims, their friends and family – we stand with you. Whatever you need, we are here to support you.
On November 19, folks went to Club Q to be with their chosen family – a safe place to be who they truly are and find connection with others. Our bars and nightclubs are often the only place where we go to find shelter from the fear and judgment of those who wish us harm. It is not easy for members of our community to find such comforting spaces. To have it shattered by a rain of gunfire is unbearable.
It is not an accident that such an attack took place at the end of a week when we saw members of the LGBTQ+ community targeted for who they are and who they love. From students denied entrance in schools to employees told they could not act on same-sex attraction and must conform to their biological sex, this community—my community, our community—has continued to suffer the ravages of discrimination.
We must stop driving the hate-filled rhetoric that gives license to the dehumanization of our community. This mass murder represents just the most violent endpoint of a thousand seemingly small cuts suffered by the LGBTQ+ family. Such hate combined with laws that make access to firearms far too easy have only one result. I wish I could say it was unbelievable, but that is not the case. Instead, it is all too predictable.
I call on all elected officials, faith leaders, community leaders to put down their weapons of hate and stand together in love – love for all of God’s children.
Leslie Herod, State Representative and Denver Mayoral Candidate.
League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region (LWVPPR), League of Women Voters of Colorado (LWVCO), and League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) grieve the senseless tragedy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, late Saturday night, when a man shot and killed five people and injured at least 19 at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub.
LWVPPR, LWVCO and LWVUS stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in mourning those killed or injured and grieve with their families, friends, and the entire Colorado Springs community. In times like these, we look to each other for the compassion, strength, and resilience necessary to heal from this horrific event.
LWV, LWVCO and LWVPPR continue to work for common sense gun safety legislation at the local, state, and federal levels to allow all people to live safely and with confidence in their personal and community spaces.
We encourage our League membership and the general public to reach out to those affected by this cowardly act of hate and to our LGBTQ+ partners Inside Out Youth Services (insideoutys.org), One Colorado (one-colorado.org) and The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org) to show your support
League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region (LWVPPR), League of Women Voters of Colorado (LWVCO), and League of Women Voters of the United States.
We are heartbroken and devastated by the deadly attack Saturday night at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub, in Colorado Springs. We mourn together with the victims’ loved ones, and pray for a speedy recovery for those injured in this senseless attack.
We are also angry. We are angry that five individuals were senselessly murdered. We are angry that 25 others were wounded. We are angry that a space for gathering in community was shattered with violence. And, we are angry that family members and friends are planning funerals at a time many gather to express gratitude and nurture our human connections.
For years, leaders in the LGBTQ+ community have sounded the alarm, warning that hateful rhetoric and threats continue to lead to violence against LGBTQ+ people. ADL’s Center on Extremism has warned that far-right and extremist voices have launched a significant attack against the LGBTQ+ community in 2021-2022, demonizing people through repeated false claims that LGBTQ+ people are “pedophiles” who are “grooming” children in order to abuse them. This false and malicious narrative has fueled a slew of hostile legislation and policies aimed at erasing the discussion of LGBTQ+ related issues in schools, removing LGBTQ+ books from schools and public libraries and, especially, to ostracize, defame and harass transgender people.
Politicians, extremists, and pundits alike are fanning the flames of this hateful campaign, which not infrequently includes elements of antisemitism alongside its core anti-LGBTQ+ hate.
Communities at risk of hate-fueled violence understand that an attack on one of our communities is an attack on us all – and that people who hold multiple marginalized identities are particularly vulnerable.
The grief and mourning process has only begun. The ADL Mountain States Region extends its support and care to all those impacted by this attack. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community partners and all LGBTQ+ individuals in Colorado Springs and beyond.
Scott Levin, ADL Mountain States Regional Director
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