Indiana Youth Group (IYG) is heartbroken to hear of the shooting that took place at Club Q in Colorado Springs last night. As devastating at this news is, it is unfortunately an all-too-common occurrence. The risk of violence and hate crimes are always at the back of the mind for LGBTQ+ individuals. These risks are even more prevalent for members of our community who are of color and/or transgender, nonbinary, or otherwise gender divergent.
As far as we often feel we’ve come as a nation, hate and violence aimed at the LGBTQ+ unfortunately seem to remain constant. Tragedies such as the one that occurred last night are often fueled by hateful and defaming rhetoric aimed at the queer community in politics, the media, and everyday life. Whether intentional or not, queerphobic language and political action have a devastatingly harmful and even deadly impact. Until such hateful speech is halted and federal hate crime laws are passed to protect LGBTQ+ citizens, these tragedies will continue to occur.
It is worth noting that this shooting took place minutes before Transgender Day of Remembrance, a date when our community remembers and honors our transgender friends, family, and love ones who have been lost to senseless violence fueled by hate and ignorance. We also recognize that these events can have a severely negative impact on LGBTQ+ young people who are already struggling and fearful to be themselves in the face of hatred and hostility. IYG is here for the young people of Indiana and encourage any who may be struggling or fearful to reach out to us or a trusted individual for support. IYG will continue to advocate for LGBTQ+ people and fight back against discrimination and hate to make Indiana and the rest of the country a safer place for all queer people. Our hearts go out to the victims and survivors of last night’s tragedy, as well as their families, friends, and loved ones. We vow to do everything in our power to help put an end to senseless violence against our community.