Local advocates stand in solidarity with victims of Colorado Springs shooting

Several local advocacy groups are speaking out in support of the victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 8:03 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Several local advocacy groups are speaking out in support of the victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, leaving five people dead and 18 others injured.

Officials say that heartache is also being felt in Tallahassee. A reminder of how just six years ago the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando sent shockwaves across Florida’s LGBTQ community.

“You should be able to be whatever it is that you want to be, be whoever it is that you feel you are, and without fear. And without fear of your life,” said Trish Brown, a local leader in the community and advocate for human rights.

Brown said when she heard about the shooting in Colorado, the terror took her back to 2016 when nearly 50 people were killed at Pulse. She added that the act of violence over the weekend shows that there’s still so much work to be done.

“It’s hate that’s causing this, and those that like influence it and feed it and manifest it and encourage it,” said Brown.

Other organizations speaking out included Equality Florida. Public Policy Director Jon Harris Maurer says places like Pulse and Club Q are supposed to be safe havens for people in the LGBTQ community, and that “hate” needs to be addressed in order to keep those spaces safe.

Maurer said the organization is in contact with officials in Colorado, hoping to offer support and assistance to those affected by the shooting.

“The LGBTQ community in Florida understands some of that heartbreak. We know what it’ll be like to sit at those Thanksgiving tables with an empty chair,” he said. “It is incredibly painful, and it makes us have this duty to honor with action, those that we’ve lost because it is unacceptable for these sorts of hateful acts to continue across the country.”

Officials agree that people locally can advocate and support the Colorado Springs community by reaching out to their own state and local officials and continuing the conversation around safety for the LGBTQ community and denouncing hate crimes.

A candlelight vigil will be held on November 22 at 6 p.m., located at Common Ground Books to honor those lost in the Club Q shooting.