Family, it’s your favorite queer radio personality Anna DeShawn with our queer news for today. Now, I want to make you a promise. We will continue to bring you the latest in queer news, culture, and politics. So, if you are digging our intersectional take on the weekly, consider joining the QCrew.
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Now for the news. Today marks the 276th day Brittney Griner has been wrongfully detained. Another mass shooting has left the LGBTQ community devastated while we honor our trans fam on Trans Day of Resilience. Let’s go!
So today I thought I was gonna be talking about trans day of resilience and I thought I’d be talking about the respect for marriage act and you know the L word Premier, Beyoncé getting 9 Grammy nods, Wakanda forever at #1 and if you didn’t also hear Democrat Karen Bass became the first female mayor of Los Angeles. I mean there’s been some major wins all around and at the intersections of all my identities. And yet here we are today having to give time to another mass shooting. This time in Colorado Springs, this time it was club Q and this time five people have lost their lives and 25 are injured. Like when is enough enough. When will politicians stop taking NRA money and really think about the impact the use of guns are having in our communities. It’s simply ignorance that keeps us from making meaningful change in this country. Yes, people pull the triggers but people are products of their environments. So if you can’t control or fix or improve an individuals environment than we must control the tools they are using to harm others. Others who have done them no harm at all. So let’s get into what I know so far.
We know the gunman is 22 years old and his name is Anderson Lee Aldrich. I think this is incredibly important because for some reason we continue to think that these gun men are old white men. We have these ideas in our head that racism is in old peoples notion but racism and homophobia and transphobia and antisemitism these are all learned behaviors. These ideas are things that are taught and if we aren’t teaching our children differently this will not be the last mass shooting but let me digress.
They say that when he entered the building he started shooting right away. No one even had a moment to think. A moment to move differently. He just immediately opened fire. People inside the club and in the area started calling the police and they report receiving numerous 911 calls that started around 11:56 PM. The police were dispatched at 11:57pm and arrived at 12:02am. So much happened in those 6 minutes. 5 people were killed. 25 were injured. And two heroic patrons disarmed the gunman, took his gun and hit him on the head. They literally saved lives.
Now let’s talk about club Q. Club Q opened in 2002 yeah 20 years ago and it was the only LGBTQ club in Colorado Springsuntil recently. Like this was the spot. Honestly this isn’t surprising. I live in the city of Chicago and there are only a handful of LGBTQ bars here in this big city. And what I found is that this is pretty normal across the country. And so Club Q was the spot and that was no secret it was known as a safe haven for so many. They have all types of events, drag shows, and celebrations. I mean they had created a community and now this tragedy has landed at their doorsteps.
It’s all so heartbreaking for these families and this community. If we aren’t safe in our clubs I’m telling you right now we are not safe at all.
And all of this is happening as we close out Transgender Awareness Week with Trans Day of Resislence. This is a day to mourn and commemorate the lives of the vibrant, beloved transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people lost to violence and suicide in the past year. The date marks the birthday of Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman who was murdered in 1998. Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender advocate, started TDOR in honor of her friend.
Maddie Dickens DeeDee Hall Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway (“Sid”)
Rexy Que Paris Rich Brazil Johnson Shawmayné McClam
Kitty Monroe Cherry Bush Jasper Aaron Lynch Jimmie “Jay” Lee
Martasia Richmond Toi Davis Keshia Chanel Geter
Hayden Nevah Davis Kamila Marie Swann (“Dee Dee”, “Kandii Redd”)
Marisela Castro Kimbella Kimble Acey D. Morrison Dede Ricks
Regina Allen (“Mya”) Semaj Sincere Billingslea Serena Brenneman
We speak your names today.
As we close I want y’all to love on those who love you. We are in the midst of holiday season and its not an easy time for many. Show kindness. Give grace. Hug on the ones you love okay. Till next week, peace.
Gunman kills 5 at LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs before patrons confront and stop him, police say