After deadly shooting, anger and grief weigh heavy on Colorado Springs’ LGBTQ community at vigil-EnglishHindiBlogs-News

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado. Just six miles from the Q Club, an LGBTQ-friendly nightclub where a lone gunman killed five people and wounded 25 others, hundreds of mourners gathered at a Unitarian church on Sunday to mourn those killed in the attack and find solace. in each other’s arms.

Many had tears in their faces at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, where local residents organized a vigil. Together, those in attendance remembered the victims and comforted each other as they tried to make sense of the attack in a part of Colorado where they said it has become harder to be an open member of the LGBT community.

Off-duty Shayana Dabney, 23, a black bisexual woman, said the “heartbreaking and horrific” shooting left her with an indescribable sadness in the pit of her stomach.

“The thing that bothers me the most is that Colorado Springs is always on the list of best places to live, but when you live in this city, it becomes very apparent very quickly that it only appeals to a very specific demographic,” she said.

Matthew Haynes, owner of Club Q, said at the event that he opened the club 20 years ago when “we didn’t have a lot of rights and we needed a place for the community.”

People gather at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday.Sumiko Muts/NBC News

According to him, it was a retreat in those “darker days”. However, that darkness appears to have returned to this community as it lives in the shadow of a devastating shooting that left 11 people hospitalized.

“We would never have thought of this, this level of hatred,” Gaines said of the shooting.

Some spoke of the city as the victim of a senseless attack as well. Brandon Floyd, 28, who does not identify as LGBTQ, said he came to pay his respects and show his support for a community deeply wounded by the shooter.

“I came to see the faces of the people who were affected by this because it’s obviously a tragedy,” he said. “The city suffered.”

But according to some, the city’s pain also seems to stem from the intolerance of the LGBT community that has developed in recent years.

As he continued to reason, Haynes said the growing hatred of LGBTQ people and the proliferation of high-powered weapons has created a powder keg in this part of the country. According to him, the approaching holidays worsened the situation.

“Family members will not be with their families,” he said.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who is openly gay, speaking at a virtual vigil because he tested positive for Covid, called the attack devastating.

“My heart breaks for my family, friends and neighbors,” he told a packed church Sunday afternoon. “Evil will never conquer love and kindness.”

The governor said the shooting was all the more traumatic because the club served as a safe haven for the LGBT community — a place to laugh and dance.

22-year-old Zet Gross knows better than anyone the importance of the club.

For the past four years, they’ve been regulars at Club Q. They did their first drag show there, and it’s been an oasis for them and many others. The only reason Gross wasn’t there Saturday night when the shooting happened was because they injured their leg.

“It was the safest place I knew. It was so acceptable,” Gross said outside Sunday’s vigil. “No matter what, I didn’t have to hide.”