Late on Saturday, November 20, a gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Spring. At least five people were killed, and more than 18 people were injured.
Police responded, took the suspect into custody, and injured victims were taken to several hospitals.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis released a statement praising the first responders who immediately worked to save lives at the nightclub:
“We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman likely saving lives in the process and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting. Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together.”
We’re devastated by this news — which is especially heartbreaking because November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. The nightclub, Club Q, was planning to host an “all ages drag brunch” on Sunday morning to honor the holiday, which is meant to honor those who have been killed or harmed by anti-transgender violence.
At Good Good Good, we wanted to ensure we quickly shared some resources to help our community process their grief, mobilize for safety and justice for LGBTQ+ folks, and take action for common-sense gun reform.
In the heartbreak, we always find hope. Let’s lift each other up.
We’ll be updating this article with more news, resources, and ways to take action as we learn more. Stay tuned.
How To Make a Difference:
Support the LGBTQ+ community by donating to Human Rights Campaign
This devastating act of anti-LGBTQ+ violence has no place in this country. Organizations like Human Rights Campaign work to end violence and discrimination against all LGBTQ+ people and “realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.”
→ Donate to Human Rights Campaign
Donate to verified GoFundMe campaigns
Several people and groups have organized GoFundMe campaigns to raise funds for those affected by the horrific shooting in Colorado Springs.
GoFundMe curated the top fundraising campaigns and verified them with their Trust & Safety specialists. GoFundMe has a “GoFundMe Guarantee” that ensures you can have the option of a full refund for up to a year if it turns out that a campaign wasn’t trustworthy or something wasn’t right.
These mutual aid campaigns will directly support the shooting victims, their loved ones, recovery costs, and funeral costs.
Support the trans community on Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual holiday that honors the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming people, who are disproportionately affected by violence.
At least 32 trans people were killed this year, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign.
One simple way to make a difference is by donating to the National Center for Trans Equality — an organization committed to increasing understanding and acceptance of transgender people through policy and societal change. They describe their mission as working “to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice.”
→ Donate to National Center for Trans Equality
Support LGBTQ+ health in Colorado Springs
According to a 2021 survey, the local queer community in Colorado Springs is “lacking physical, mental and sexual health services, which leaves them at greater risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.”
Fortunately, the Colorado Health Network is working to change that by providing healthcare resources. You can help support their efforts by making a donation.
→ Donate to Colorado Health Network
Support local LGBTQ+ organizations in Colorado Springs
In the last several years, community resources, health resources, meeting spaces, and nonprofits have come and gone, because they didn’t have enough community support.
Colorado Springs is home to several large conservative and Christian organizations, like Focus on the Family, which have been outspokenly against LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality. This has made it challenging for pro-LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses.
One simple way you can make a difference is by supporting these local entities, which will, in turn, support the LGBTQ+ communities they serve.
Here’s a list of nonprofits to get you started:
- Colorado Health Network (mentioned above)
- Transformative Freedom Fund
- One Colorado
- Inside/Out Youth Services
- Equality Center of Colorado Springs
- Citizens Project
- PFLAG Colorado Springs
- Southern Colorado AIDS Project
- Inside/Out Youth Services
- Peak Area Gender Expressions (PAGE)
- Urban Peak Colorado Springs
Support local LGBTQ+-owned businesses in Colorado Springs
Similarly, you can support businesses that are owned by and serve members of the LGBTQ+ community.
If you’re local or planning a future visit to Colorado Springs, please visit these businesses as soon as possible. If you aren’t local, look for opportunities to buy a product from them online or share this list with someone who lives nearby.
Here are a few recommendations, courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs:
- The Gallery Below
- Eden Salon & Barber Shop
- Headliners Hair Studio
- MODO Salon & Montage Salon
- Painting with a Twist (North)
- Pens & Needles Custom Tattoo Company
- Picnic Basket
- Latisha Hardy Dance & Co
- Nexus Community Fitness
- Club Q (the club where this shooting took place)
Call your elected officials and demand they act to prevent future mass shootings
Compared to other countries, the United States has a significant gin violence problem, lacking good systems in place for law enforcement, mental health professionals, or other authorities to intervene before shooting occur. Our gun safety laws are extremely weak, and remain unchanged despite attacks like these.
And while gun lobbyists spend a lot of time and money getting politicians to not act on gun safety measures, gun safety and common sense laws are extremely effective and have strong bipartisan support.
Contact your local, state, and federal elected officials, share your concerns, and ask them to enact proven, popular solutions to prevent mass shootings: secure storage laws, extreme risk laws, and universal background checks.
(We previously created a resource on how to help stop school shootings. While this wasn’t a school shooting, the guide may also be also helpful in this situation.)
→ Explore more ways to reduce gun violence
Fred Rogers once said: When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
It’s clear that, in the midst of this tragedy, the LGBTQ+ community and the Colorado Springs community is filled with countless Helpers. Those of us outside of Colorado can learn from and be inspired by these Helpers — and we can join in and become Helpers ourselves by supporting them.