The Sam Cary Bar Association was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs on Saturday evening. We stand in solidarity with our sister association, the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, and mourn the tragic event that killed five, injured at least 25, and affected countless more. The Sam Cary Bar Association does not condone violence, prejudice, or hate against members of the LGBTQ+ community. Our hearts are with those affected by this senseless act as well as with our LGBTQ+ community.
We ask that our members come forward now to take action and support our LGBTQ+ community. Below are links for opportunities to provide and receive support. Finally, please join the vigil this evening honoring Club Q. It will be a time to mourn this devastating event as a community.
Please see below for the press release issued by the Colorado LGBT Bar Association:
The Colorado LGBT Bar Association was devastated to learn about the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs last night that killed five, injured at least 25, and traumatized innumerable others. In addition to the Club Q victims, today, on the Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR), we also mourn the loss of the 32 transgender people killed during 2022. Our hearts are overwhelmed with grief, sadness, and anger.
Gay bars have historically functioned as our community’s nucleus -- a social center of gravity that keeps us grounded, together, and safe. The frequent shunning that queer people experience can unmoor us from the social infrastructure that our peers take for granted, and gay bars often become a unique place of refuge and togetherness, especially in localities that are more hostile towards queer people. Indeed, many of our own Association’s events, including our upcoming holiday party, are hosted at gay bars because of this special relationship.
The shooting at Club Q was an act of terrorism designed to fracture our community’s core, leaving each of us alone and adrift. This was not an isolated event. The modern gay rights movement was born during Stonewall Riots of 1969, after the New York Police Department raided and brutalized the patrons of the Stonewall Inn. From Stonewall to the Upstairs Lounge to Pulse Nightclub, last night became part of the decade-spanning chain of violence, both interpersonal and institutional, against the LGBTQ+ community.
This latest shooting was tragically foreseeable. When elected officials, media personalities, and other public figures target drag performers, trans youths, and LGBTQ+ people generally, they cultivate a social climate in which this type of stochastic violence is not just predictable, but inevitable.
We are uninterested in thoughts or prayers that are not backed by action and a commitment to eradicating all forms of anti-LGBTQ bigotry. We cannot simply accept calls for solidarity and togetherness, because this kind of horror inexorably changes a space. When hatred conflagrates into violence, the grief scars a community like wildfire scars the mountains overlooking Colorado Springs. We cannot achieve togetherness without actively confronting the scale of the shooting at Club Q and the likelihood that this sort of targeted violence will continue.
There must be a full effort from individuals, communities, and elected leaders to act on the continuing and rising threats against LGBTQ+ people. We refuse to resign the memories of the people we lost, and the trauma of those who survived, to the senselessness of inaction. But like aspen saplings after a wildfire and our queer forebearers after the Stonewall Riots, we will rise again from this site of destruction, each body standing as part of the whole.
We find ourselves asking what exactly we can do right now. In terms of concrete action, community preservation and aid is crucial. Taking care of ourselves and each other is also paramount in continuing the fight. Please check in on your queer loved ones today, and take time to care for yourself as well. Below are links for opportunities to provide and receive support.