Colorado Springs, CO Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, responded to media reports of a fatal shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, a nightclub serving the local LGBTQ+ community. The club was hosting a drag performance that evening and was hosting events in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance on the morning following the shooting. Police reported a long rifle was used in the shooting.
Human Rights Campaign Incoming President Kelley Robinson released the following statement:
"We are absolutely heartbroken by last night's deadly shooting at an LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs. We know anti-LGBTQ+ hate is on the rise and gun violence impacts our community at devastating rates. We are also observing Transgender Day of Remembrance today and over the last 10 years two-thirds of the more than 300 fatalities we've tracked involved gun violence. We must rise against hate in the strongest possible terms, we must stand together in solidarity and love with our LGBTQ+ family in Colorado Springs and demand an end to this epidemic of gun violence. From Pulse to Colorado Springs to so many other lives stolen from us this has occurred for far too long. HRC mourns the lives taken at Club Q last night and extends our deepest strength, love and condolences to the loved ones impacted."
Nearly 1 in 5 of any type of hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias and reports of violence and intimidation against LGBTQ+ people have been making news across the country: White nationalists targeted a Pride event in Idaho; Proud Boys crashed Drag Queen story hour at a local library in California to shout homophobic and transphobic slurs; and Boston Children's Hospital's patients and providers have found themselves the targets of multiple violent threats following a campaign of disinformation on Twitter.
On June 12, 2016, a man fatally shot 49 people and wounded 58 more at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, FL. The victims, primarily LGBTQ+ and Latinx, were senselessly killed in what was supposed to be a safe space while celebrating their shared identity and Pride month. HRC has worked with Everytown to provide data about this shooting and the larger context of gun-involved violence against LGBTQ+ people.
HRC has officially recorded at least 300 violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people, including 32 in 2022 alone, since the organization began tracking this violence ten years ago. Overall, transgender and gender non-conforming victims of violence are overwhelmingly Black, under 35, and killed with a firearm. The highest known single-year total of fatal deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people was in 2021, when at least 57 trans & gender non-conforming people were violently killed. Worse, these disturbing numbers likely underreport the deadly violence targeting transgender and gender non-confirming people, who may not be properly identified as transgender or gender non-conforming by police, media or other sources.
Legislators in state houses across the country introduced 344 anti-LGBTQ+ bills this session, and 25 of them passed. These bills and laws attack the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and non-binary young people and their families, preventing them from accessing age-appropriate medical care, playing sports with their friends, or even talking about who they are in school.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.