If you are seeking community or want to show your support for the Club Q victims and Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community: One Colorado and the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado will host a vigil on November 21 at 7 p.m. at ReelWorks Denver. All are welcome.
If you want to join Rose Community Foundation in supporting the Club Q victims and their families: LGBTQ+ community leaders and Colorado Springs philanthropic organizations are encouraging donors to give to the Club Q Fund at the Colorado Healing Fund (CHF). CHF is partnering with local victim assistance organizations to distribute funds for a broad variety of victim needs, such as plane tickets, rental cars, direct cash support, as well as anticipating long-term physical and mental health needs.
If you want to support Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community in general: we recommend giving to the following longtime Rose Community Foundation grantees: One Colorado Education Fund, The Center on Colfax, and Out Boulder County.
A Message from our President and CEO
Gay bars and nightclubs are welcoming places of courageous authenticity, liberating jubilation and unapologetic inclusion. We all deserve to have spaces that are joyful and safe.
Heartbreakingly, they are not always safe. They are not always safe for the LGBTQ+ community members for whom they were intended as a haven of celebration and connection. That feeling of protection was shattered on June 12, 2016, at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, and again this week on November 19, 2022, at Colorado Springs’ Club Q in our own backyard.
Speaking of our own backyard, it has not even been two years yet since the March 22, 2021, mass shooting at Boulder’s Table Mesa King Soopers. In the 20 months between these two Colorado atrocities, there have been mass shootings in a Los Angeles office building; an Indianapolis shipping facility; a Michigan high school; a Buffalo grocery store; an Illinois 4th of July parade; the Uvalde, Texas elementary school; on a University of Virginia bus of students, and sadly in too many other places to list.
Looking at this grim inventory of mass shootings in the United States since 1982, we see that enough was enough a long time ago. And sadly, Colorado – and Colorado Springs in particular – appears a disproportionate number of times in this macabre history, the latest being a May 2021 mass shooting in a Colorado Springs mobile home community.
Have you or your loved ones ever stepped foot in an elementary school, high school or college campus? A movie theater, a concert, a dance club or a shopping mall? A grocery store, a restaurant or an office complex? A community festival, a military base, or a medical facility? A synagogue, a church or a mosque? These are all places where lives have been lost and families forever changed because of mass shootings. One might begin to wonder if there are any safe places anymore.
But rather than succumb to our grief, our fear or our anger, we must unite to ensure that hate and extremism are never normalized or unchallenged, that no one becomes desensitized to these preventable acts of gun violence, and that we are not paralyzed into inaction. With our voices and our dollars, we must demand more than thoughts and prayers alone. We must challenge the status quo and demand policies and action.
But the first order of business in the aftermath of adding Club Q to the list that no community should ever have to join is ensuring that our LGBTQ+ friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family members know they are loved and valued – as individuals and as a community. We must ensure they know that their pain is seen and shared. Just like the region in which we live, Rose Community Foundation is made stronger by the contributions of our LGBTQ+ colleagues, volunteer leaders, donors, grantees, and community partners. We stand with our LGBTQ+ friends, this week and always.
Photo courtesy Dan Boyce/Colorado Public Radio