A memorial outside the Club Q nightclub after Saturday's shooting. (Twitter)
We are heartbroken by Saturday’s deadly shooting at an LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs where a gunman killed five people and injured at least 25 others. Details are still coming in about the five lost, but we say their names: Derrick Rump, Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, and Raymond Green Vance. Read more about them at The Colorado Sun.
|Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston (Twitter)|
Daniel Aston, 28, was a transgender bartender at Club Q who moved to Colorado two years ago to be closer to his parents. His mother told the Washington Post that he found a sense of community there. “We’d bring our friends and family every time they came [into] town to show off Dan. It’s family friendly,” she said.
Once again, as we’ve unfortunately seen over and over again in recent years, a community was attacked in a safe space where they once found acceptance, camaraderie and joy. As Colorado state Rep. Leslie Herod, the first LGBTQ+ African American to hold office in the Colorado General Assembly, tweeted on Sunday, “Waking up to news about another mass shooting — this time in my hometown of Colorado Springs. Club Q is a place of refuge for so many, including myself. I am both devastated and infuriated.”
Please check in with your LGTBQ+ neighbors to offer support, love and compassion in the wake of this horrible shooting.
Not In Our Town stands with our LGBTQ+ community and allies. Please check in with your LGTBQ+ neighbors to offer support, love and compassion in the wake of this horrible shooting. We also salute Richard Fierro and other patrons inside the club who subdued the gunman, likely saving many lives with their courage and bravery.
Authorities are still investigating the motives behind the attack, but online court records show that the suspected Club Q shooter was a known threat and now facing multiple murder and hate crime charges.
Sunday was Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honor those killed by acts of anti-transgender violence, and the club was planning to hold a drag brunch. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was established in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigils commemorate all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester's death, and has become an important tradition and annual event.
"Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice."
- Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
According to a new report released last Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, at least 32 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been killed in the U.S. in 2022. Anti-LGBTQ+ hate is on the rise and gun violence impacts our communities at devastating rates.
Nearly 1 in 5 of any type of hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias. Reports of violence and intimidation against LGBTQ+ people have been making news across the country. Recently, white nationalists targeted a Pride event in Idaho; Proud Boys crashed Drag Queen story hour at a local library in California to shout homophobic and transphobic slurs; and Boston Children’s Hospital’s patients and providers have found themselves the targets of multiple violent threats following a campaign of disinformation on Twitter.
In the face of growing hate bias incidents and violence, we call on communities to make their values visible, reach out to LGTBQ+ communities and ask them what can be done to help them feel supported and safe in your town.
Other ideas for action to make your values visible:
- Candlelight vigils
- Forums and panel discussions with local advocates
- Poetry or spoken word readings
- Art exhibits
- Movie screenings of feature films or documentaries that center LGBTQ+ and transgender characters or subjects