Our Statement on the Horrific Club Q Shooting in Colorado
Hate is not only a painful word. Hate is a dangerous, even deadly verb.
A person who turned hateful attitudes and rhetoric into action killed 5 people and injured many more at Club Q in Colorado Springs on November 19. We at the YWCA grieve with those in Colorado and offer our solidarity and support in the aftermath of this tragedy.
We say their names: Raymond Green Vance (he/him); Kelly Loving (she/her); Daniel Aston (he/him); Derrick Rump (he/him); Ashley Paugh (she/ her). All of them killed in minutes in an act of hate against people in the LGBTQ+ community.
The sense of safety, belonging, care in community shaken by not just one person, but by hateful anti LGBTQ+ rhetoric and actions across the country – and the broader community that has yet to dismantle structures, policies, and systems that further marginalization and oppression.
The intensity and pace at which anti-LGBTQ+ violence is growing is alarming. This country is in the midst of an epidemic of mass shootings and anti-LGBTQ+ violence.
We call on policymakers at all levels – local, state, federal – to provide safety for people in the LGBTQ+ community by issuing and enforcing policies that:
- Affirm the dignity of all people, especially LGBTQ+ individuals including trans people of color;
- Promote equity in all sectors of the community including education, housing, employment, and economic development;
- Prevent perpetrators of all forms of intimate partner and family violence from accessing or owning guns; and
- Invest in services that support individuals and communities affected by hate crimes and gun violence
We call on ourselves and each member of our community here in West Michigan to be a safe person for those who are grieving. To support organizations that are created by and for the LGBTQ+ community. To advocate for changes in systems and structures to build safe and equitable spaces for everyone.
Now is the time for us to act individually and collectively to stop the spread of hateful language, attitudes, policies, and practices that lead to violence. Our lives are at stake.