GLSEN Response to Hateful Attack in Colorado Springs

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2022


GLSEN Response to Hateful Attack in Colorado Springs

In the early hours of Sunday morning a shooter opened fire with an AR-15 type weapon in Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing at least five people and injuring 25 more. This attack falls on Transgender Day of Remembrance adding to the heightened trauma the LGBTQ+ community experiences from hate crimes.

In response to the news, GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers (they/she) issued the following statement:

“This weekend’s violence in Colorado Springs is the latest tragic consequence of the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric that ring-wing politicians and figures are pushing across the country. We’ve seen it time and again: hate speech, especially hate speech enshrined in state bills, fuels hate crimes.

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Club Q shooting and their families and loved ones. For the rest of us, now is a moment to mourn our siblings, but also to translate our fear and rage and desire for solidarity into clear, direct action. We are grateful to those on the scene of the shooting who were able to act so quickly to intervene and prevent further casualties. These folks are part of a legacy of queer leaders who, in the face of unfathomable adversity, chose to do something.

Now is not the time for thoughts and prayers. Now is the time to rise up and act — to transmute the fear and rage that grip us into clear and deliberate action.

We all must rise up against efforts to silence and remove LGBTQ+ people from public life, including this vicious and intentional slaughter of LGBTQ+ people. We must reject conservatives’ attempts to demonize the LGBTQ+ community. We need bold protections for all people, including protections to prevent gun violence. We must demand that our leaders govern in ways that honor our communities, respect our lives, and support our safety and rights.”




GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Since 1990, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ+ students across the United States and helped launch an international movement to address LGBTQ+ issues in education.