Statement: NASTAD Responds to the Violent Attack at an LGBTQ+ Nightclub in Colorado Springs over the Weekend
Once again, we have found ourselves in the aftermath of a tragic day for our community and our nation. Over the weekend, there was a deadly shooting at the LGBTQ+ club, Club Q, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While authorities are still determining the motive for this attack, there is no denying that there has been an increase in violence and threats against the LGBTQ+ community over the past several months and years.
That this tragedy comes so close to a potential breakthrough in marriage equality for our community, with the Senate preparing to pass the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, is especially painful. Sometimes it can feel like we are always taking one step forward and two steps back.
But while we are deeply saddened by this news, we can’t allow the forces of hatred and bigotry to win. In times like these, I remind myself of the profound victories we have had in advancing LGBTQ+ rights and towards ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We’ve made progress against overwhelming odds, and we will continue to prevail despite the forces that are aligned against us. It is important on days like today to recommit ourselves to the fight against stigma, homophobia, transphobia, and racism.
The constant barrage of these tragedies can take a toll on our mental health. With the Thanksgiving holiday soon approaching, I hope everyone can take some time to rest and recover amongst friends, family (biological and chosen), and loved ones. If you would like to donate, the Colorado Healing Fund is raising funds to support the victims of the Club Q shooting.
Please take care of yourself and reach out to the National Mental Health Hotline at 866-903-3787 if you are feeling emotional distress and are in need of crisis counseling.
NASTAD is a leading non-partisan non-profit association that represents public health officials who administer HIV and hepatitis programs in the U.S. We work to advance the health and dignity of people living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and intersecting epidemics by strengthening governmental public health through advocacy, capacity building, and social justice.