Last night in Colorado Springs, LGBTQ people did what many of us do on the weekends. They went out to meet friends, enjoy life, and have a fun night out at their local nightclub. They were living in peace and being themselves.That peace was shattered last night by violence.
The Club Q shooting is the latest example of violence being inflicted upon the LGBTQ community, and it’s part of a long and tragic history of targeted attacks on LGBTQ people.
While any act of violence is ultimately the fault of the perpetrator, we need to think about where this hatred comes from and why.
This recent increase in violence against LGBTQ individuals is part of a larger rise in motivated attacks on marginalized communities. Monstrously hateful rhetoric is being brought forth by far right pundits and politicians, and spoonfed to scared, impressionable and unwell individuals.
Immigrants coming to this county for a better life being called invaders, drag queens trying to encourage literacy being called groomers…the list goes on. With each passing day the drumbeat of conspiracy, othering, and accusations carries on until one deranged individual makes the totally expectable response and snaps, carrying out an atrocity like we have seen across the nation.
I recall the Pride festival in Rome Georgia earlier this year, and how Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene made a call for protests to come and intimidate her LGBTQ constituents. Protesters came, armed and calling innocent peaceful people slurs and accusing LGBTQ Georgians of “corrupting the youth” and “grooming”. Why? Because Rome Pride organizers dared to have a family friendly (and appropriate) Drag Queen story reading.
Perhaps instead of sending protesters, MTG could have come to the event, seen it firsthand, and realized she is fomenting hatred and fear over something that was not nefarious or dangerous or corrupting at all. However, that would require her and folks like her to have an open mind, a willingness to learn, and to break themselves from their partisan positions.
I will continue to being a vocal advocate of love, tolerance, and empathy. I think if we all were, the world would be more peaceful and free, and there would be less unwarranted violence targeting and terrorizing communities.
Reports are saying that staff and patrons subdued the shooter and prevented more from being killed or injured. Thank God they acted quickly to do so. We must stand up and defend ourselves and our community when violence comes. I have never been shy about my positions on owning firearms. I have one myself for personal protection and to protect innocent people around me. It requires training and discipline, and frankly, I hope I never have to draw my weapon in a real life situation. But if that time comes, I will be ready and I hope others are too.
Thank you to the medical personnel who responded and saved lives at the scene. WIthout your tireless effort and quick response, more lives may have been lost. EMTs and the folks in our ERs are Angels among us.
Remember those lost at Club Q, and let’s all hold our friends and loved ones a little closer today. Its okay to grieve, I know I am.