LGBTQ community ‘in deep mourning’ after Colorado Springs shooting

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The attack on a gay bar in Colorado Springs, Colo., over the weekend has saddened the local LGBTQ community.

At least five people were killed and dozens injured on a late night shoot on November 19, the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of the lives of transgender people who have been victims of discriminatory violence.

Zielbar Club Q held their weekly drag show, according to their website.

“Club Q is in shock and deep sorrow at the loss of family and friends who have lost loved ones senseless,” the club said in a statement to ABC News. “We condemn the horrific violence that has shattered a closing time for everyone in Colorado Springs’ LGBTQ community and our allies.”

An alleged motive has not yet been announced. The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

Floral tributes are laid in memory of the victims following a mass shooting at Club Q gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado on November 20, 2022.

Kevin Mohatt/Reuters

“There are no words that can undo the horror that continues to ravage our communities,” said Nadine Bridges, executive director of LGBTQ advocacy One Colorado.

She continued: “Due to gun violence, mass shootings and the general disrespect for our human condition, our safe places continue to become places of grief, trauma and grief. Not another life should be taken or lost. No one should feel unsafe about partying publicly or living authentically.”

The tragedy comes amid a wave of Republican-led legislative efforts to curtail LGBTQ rights and health care. Over the past year, more than 300 bills and policies have been introduced to ban gender-affirming trans healthcare and LGBTQ content in schools.

“This is what happens when the venom against us goes unchecked, when LGBTQ+ people are slowly being outlawed and everyone from lawmakers to hate groups to social media users are using the same vile talking points about us every day. That’s what’s happening,” PFLAG National, an LGBTQ advocacy group, told ABC News in a statement. “Book bans; Don’t say gay; Violent protests at Pride; bans on childcare for trans children; hundreds of anti-LGBTQ laws; It always leads to that.”

Some Republicans have also used false “pedophilia” claims to attack the LGBTQ community.

Colorado has seen its own share of anti-LGBTQ legislation and rhetoric from local leaders, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, who introduced legislation to ban taxpayer money from being used for research into gender-affirming care.

PHOTO: People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near Club Q nightclub on November 20, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near Club Q nightclub on November 20, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

LGBTQ groups are urging local, state and federal lawmakers to “go beyond statements and condolences and take swift, sophisticated action to ensure public safety,” Bridges said.

file or threat of violence Anti-LGBTQ riots have been witnessed across the country in recent months – including bomb threats against Boston Children’s Hospital, which provides gender-affirming care, an alleged white nationalist riot at a Pride parade in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and more.

“There’s actually a term for that. It’s called stochastic terrorism. And this is a documented phenomenon where as the level of hateful rhetoric towards a community increases, hateful actions inevitably follow,” Kevin Jennings, CEO of LGBTQ rights advocacy Lambda Legal, told ABC News.

“I’m sure there will be meaningless thoughts and prayers. And frankly, my message to these people is simple: please keep your thoughts and prayers. Take sensible action,” he added.

PHOTO: People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near Club Q nightclub on November 20, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near Club Q nightclub on November 20, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Though fear, confusion and grief weigh heavily on Colorado Springs’ LGBTQ community, local groups say they refuse to go into hiding.

“The lives of loved ones and their wholeness have been forcibly taken,” the PFLAG Colorado Springs board of directors said in a statement to ABC News. “When influential voices spread fear and hate, there is a risk of losing kindness and our humanity. Our love is stronger than that.”

As the community seeks to heal, the Colorado Healing Fund, a nonprofit organization established to provide a safe way for people to donate to victims of mass crimes in the state, will be raising funds for survivors and families of victims of the tragedy.

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