A man armed to the teeth walked into Club Q, a gay venue, and opened fire.
The attack left at least five dead and 25 more injured, and is the latest mass murder in America. The owner of the Colorado Springs club told reporters he created the place to be a “safe space” for LGBT. His sentiments echo the feelings many feel in South Florida, as if some sort of safety-in-numbers theory applied.
South Florida’s LGBT community’s reactions range from sadness to shock to defiance.
“Be resilient. We’re getting attacked by politicians,” local activist Carvelle Estriplet said. “They’re restricting our access to health care for young trans youth in the state. We’re getting attacked in every direction. It is time for resilience, getting together.”
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis called for effective laws.
“For those of us in Florida's LGBT community, the shooting at Club Q awakens painful memories of the grim events of June 2016 at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Club Q and Pulse were supposed to be safe places where people could come together to socialize and have fun, and instead, they now stand as gruesome reminders of our nation's failure to address gun violence. Violence against the LGBT community cannot be tolerated, and sensible gun regulations are needed in order to ensure everyone's safety, in church, in school, at work, at a movie theater and everywhere else.”
Equality Florida stated, “We awakened to the all too familiar horror: another hate-motivated mass shooting targeting a community that has been vilified and dehumanized by hateful political rhetoric. It is no coincidence that yet another community refuge, and the safety it provides, has been shattered amidst a political climate supercharged with anti-LGBTQ hate by powerful leaders and right-wing extremists. Thanksgiving tables will have empty chairs this week. Holidays will have missing faces. These are the costs of hate violence, costs we know all too well. Our hearts go out to all those impacted and we will work with our local partners to ensure the community receives the care it needs and that we honor those stolen from us with action.”
Kierra Johnson, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director, said, “As we wait for answers to what happened and why at Club Q this past weekend, I remain heartbroken and angry. While horrifying, the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs should not come as a surprise. This is what happens when violent rhetoric and anti-LGBTQ legislation is relentlessly directed at our community.”
“We must come together as we learn more, to grieve and remember those we have lost, to honor the brave individuals who fought back and saved the lives of others during the attack and to fight for a comprehensive investigation and determine the motivation behind this attack,” Johnson added.