Overcoming Tragedy: Effects of the Club Q Shooting on the LGBTQIA+ Community


Tragedy struck the LGBTQ+ community on November 19, 2022 with the shooting at Club Q, a queer club, at Colorado Springs with five people dead and more injured.

It’s no surprise that LGBTQ+ acceptance hasn’t been super easy throughout history. This is often due to the fact that people who have traditional values often look down on the queer community.

“People struggle so hard with people being gay because they are uneducated, and because of that it causes ignorance,” senior Kaitlyn Forth said. “People are very set in their ways and they think they are always right no matter what.”

This stubbornness of homophobic people brings so much danger to the community. Many of them are physically harmful rather than just emotionally or mentally hurtful.

“The ways that I experience it is very physical,” senior Noah Burgan said. “People either follow me in the hallways, follow me outside of school, push me, or people will contact me on social media and call me slurs.”

These violent attacks leave many queer people in fear of their safety. Especially out in public where views don’t always align.

“Some struggles I’ve faced are just being scared to go out in public and hold hands with my girlfriend or kiss her in public because I’m scared of getting beaten up or killed,” Forth said. “There will always be that thought in the back of my mind, and it’s scary.”

This shooting has pushed back the success that the queer community has made so far, which they have worked so hard to earn.

“It’s supposed to be a safe space for the community, but homophobia gets in the way of so many things,” Forth said.

Not only is the progress of acceptance being delayed, it further brings up the question on how safe queer people actually are.

“I feel like any time there is an event like this, our safety is questioned,”  Burgan said. “It’s something that you are kind of forced to live with.”

After this shooting, queer people now, more than ever, are worried and afraid for both their lives and their safety. 

“I’ve always worried about homophobia-fueled actions towards me, but more now with the shooting,” Forth said.

Safety in times of crisis like this one is important to keep intact. Life isn’t always going to be in one direction.

“Your safety is vulnerable. You just have to expect this to happen,” Burgan said.

However, there is some light in the dark. This event has proved how strong the queer community is when they stick together.

“While the shooting was horrible, it shows people that the queer community will remain strong in times of hardship,” Forth said. “It shows the future generations of queer kids what we do in times of crisis and the best way to deal with it and how strong the community really is.”

With the added strength of the community, this tragedy has added awareness on the high extent of LGBTQ+ abuse.   

“We’ve come so far and we still need to fight, we still need to donate to the people that are suffering, we still need to use our voices to stand up and fight for the inequalities that are happening,” Burgan said. “I think from this people have finally started to acknowledge that these people are being hurt, that these people are going through something and that it’s actually real.”

While Grandview students aren’t always accepting, the school itself  has been good at recognizing queer voices and the queer community.

“I think a lot of people feel safe because we have a really good queer community here and the district also is accommodating to the queer community here,” Forth said.

Along with that, Grandview’s Queer Sexual Alliance (QSA) has made a great effort to respect and help queer students recover from this misfortune.

“We try to educate people,” Burgan said. “We try to allow people to have a space to speak about their emotions and hopefully feel accepted and brace for that and hopefully move forward and know that we have hope.”

There are many things that allies can bring awareness to this situation and hopefully push the LGBTQ+ acceptance agenda forward.

“I think the best thing that you can do [is] call your state representative, support people that are being hurt, do GoFundMes and continue to even use your social media to provide people with the resources to actually create change,” Burgan said. “That’s, I think, the most important thing.”