By Lawrence Pfeil, Jr.
In the aftermath of another targeted mass shooting of LGBTQ people at Club Q in Colorado Springs, the stories of the five lives lost, nineteen lives scared by gun violence, as well as the heroes who took down the gunman saving dozens of lives have only beginning to be told. One pattern created by the interwoven threads of several lives that night has been revealed.
Army Veteran, Richard Fierro who tackled the active shooter was at Club Q with his wife, daughter and her boyfriend to see their friend perform in the drag show. Tragically, his daughter’s boyfriend Raymond Greene Vance was the first one killed that night.
On her show, Rachel Maddow spoke with the owners of Club Q who described the impact of the hate crime on the people and Community of Colorado Springs.
Emerging from this horrific tragedy are a few stories which are abundantly clear. Club Q was the embodiment of inclusion and diversity where everyone was welcome and accepted. The lives lost included a transgender woman and man, a straight woman, a straight Black man, a white male; its survivors are all ages, races, and identities – that’s a community.
The countless lives shattered and the Community shattered by this manifestation of hate did not come out of nowhere. The rise in hate speech, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and discriminatory laws being passed across the country is emboldening this kind of violence and terrorism against us.
View this post on Instagram
Related post — “The New Right and Its Threat to LGBT+ Civil Rights”
Openly gay, New York City Council Representative, Eric Botcher gave this interview about the rhetoric from the Right fueling hate crimes including his District which encompasses Hell’s Kitchen.
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday a friend on Twitter, summed up what MAGA Republicans are doing to the LGBTQ Community in one word, “Infuriating.” To which I replied,
Only to us…
To #MAGARepublicans what happened in #ColoradoSprings is the kind of #domesticterrorism they want to send as a message to everyone who isn't straight, white, male, and their kind of Christian to keep them in line.
— TheOUTFront (@TheOUTFront) November 21, 2022
Straight white Christian men get off on playing the “victim” these days. Probably, because it makes them feel like their Lord and Savior. (Take your pick; they both act like they’re the son of God.) But here’s the God’s honest truth.
Gay people aren't shooting up straight night clubs.
Black people aren't shooting up white grocery stores.
Latinos are not shooting up Walmarts.
Jewish people are not shooting up Christian churches.
The violence is coming from one demographic: Alt-right radicalized men.
— Leslieoo7 (@Leslieoo7) November 21, 2022
What is created at Club Q and Pulse in Orlando, and in LGBTQ clubs and spaces in every state are places where we are safe, find family, and we feel at home. Come with acceptance and an open heart and you’re sure to find that too. But to anyone, anyone who tries to destroy what we’ve created. You’ve got a lot to learn.
The 2022 Broadway musical, Paradise Square, was based on actual events from1863. At its climax, a murderous mob of white men descends on the Five Points in New York City to destroy an inclusive community who found together love is the way forward.
To the Club Q community who knows love is the way, and to all our grieving LGBTQ Community everywhere who knows Love Conquers Hate, we dedicate, “Let It Burn.”