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A 22-year-old male in November shot and killed five patrons of Club Q, a Colorado Springs bar popular with LGBT people and their allies.

The gunman also injured at least 17 others in the shooting spree on Nov. 19. The killer opened fire with a rapid-fire military assault-style weapon until a U.S. military veteran who was a patron at the bar knocked the gunman down and, with the help of one of the club’s performers, subdued him. A Nov. 30 bulletin from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned of potential additional attacks on LGBT bars. It noted that, after the Club Q shooting, the DHS observed messages “on forums known to post racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content praising the alleged [Club Q] attacker.” Club Q had operated in conservative Colorado Springs for 21 years without any threats or attacks.

The Club Q attack, which took place just minutes before midnight and the start of an international Transgender Day of Remembrance, brought back many memories, including the 2016 attack on the Pulse, an LGBT bar in Orlando, Florida. There, a lone gunman killed 49 patrons and injured more than 50 more.

Some news reports focused on the fact that Club Q was featuring a drag show. They noted that right-wing political activists have in recent months made concerted efforts to publicly malign drag queens and revive an old scare tactic that claims LGBT people are a threat to children.  A Human Rights Campaign report in November indicated at least 32 people had been killed thus far in 2022 because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Sixty-five percent of those victims were black transgender women.

Pride Day events in several cities were attacked, including gun threats in Idaho which forced the cancelation of a celebration. In Couer d’Alene, Idaho, police arrested 31 men in their twenties in June in connection with a plot by the white nationalist group Pride Front. Reports said the police found the group waiting in a U-Haul, carrying metal pipes and wearing riot gear, with a plan on how to disrupt the family-friendly LGBT festival there. The Washington Post quoted a researcher as saying that groups that attack LGBT events tend to be “far-right extremists, who he said to adhere to a hypermasculine worldview and the belief that other, often marginalized groups, are making gains at their direct expense.”

In December, the Human Rights Campaign issued a report showing a “highly organized attack” was being waged against more than two dozen hospitals that provided gender-affirming care. But the organization also released a report in November, showing that a record number of cities across the nation (120) earned its highest score (100) for having pro-LGBT laws, policies, and services in place. The study, done with the Equality Federation Institute, looked at more than 500 cities. Some of the expected perfect scores included Los Angeles and San Francisco; Wilton Manors, Florida; Ann Arbor and Detroit; Atlanta; Chicago; Boston; Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio; Trenton; and New York City.

Among the unexpected cities scoring 100 were: Birmingham, Alabama; Juneau, Alaska; and Columbus, Ohio. And five cities that scored the absolute worst – zero – were Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Florence, Alabama; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Pierre, South Dakota; and Rock Spring, Wyoming.

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