As many of us are already aware, a gunman entered Club Q in Colorado Springs on November 19, the eve of Trans Day of Remembrance, and opened fire on LGBTQ+ and allied nightclub patrons. Five individuals lost their lives and seventeen others remain injured following this attack. Pride in Our Workplace condemns this hateful act of violence and stands with Colorado Springs and communities across this country in mourning Daniel Davis Aston, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Derrick Rump, and Raymond Green Vance.
We are devastated by this tragedy, but we unfortunately are not surprised. This week, an LGBTQ+ bar was targeted in Colorado. Last week, Boston Children’s Hospital received its second bomb threat in response to its treatment of transgender patients. In the years since the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, we have watched incident after incident of violence targeting LGBTQ+ individuals and our allies escalate.
It is a vicious cycle, and it is not one that is unique to the LGBTQ+ community. Marginalized groups across this nation are intentionally dehumanized and villainized by anti-LGBTQ+, anti-Black, anti-Latinx, anti-Asian, anti-immigrant, and anti-choice rhetoric online, in media, and on our largest political stages. When we are othered, when our communities and safe spaces are painted as threats, individuals feel emboldened to physically harm us.
- To those directly impacted by our most recent tragedy: Our organization mourns with you and our team is here to offer support when and where we can.
- To those in positions of power: We call on you to reject extremist rhetoric and use your platform to prevent similar tragedies in the future.
- To the business community: Foster safe spaces for your employees. Ensure that your DEI policy aligns with your business practices. Publish statements in support of LGBTQ+ communities and urge our nation’s leaders to better protect LGBTQ+, and specifically trans, lives.
A culture built on fear, hate, and the systematic dehumanization of marginalized individuals can only lead to more violence. Take care of yourselves and each other.
The Pride in Our Workplace Team
Honoring those lost on November 19.
Ashley Paugh, Daniel Davis Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelley Loving, and Raymon Green Vance were all taken from us too soon. We will mourn them as loved member and allies of our LGBTQ+ family and we will honor their memories in our work. Learn more about their lives and those they leave behind.
As an organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ communities and helping create environments in which they feel safe and supported by their employers, our team is committed to working with our partners and LGBTQ+ community leaders to identify actionable ways businesses can support their employees and clients in times of crisis and shared experiences of trauma. We will convene in the new year to host a forum and share these best practices with you all.
In the meantime, it is important that we all do the work to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable, connect with those around us that are hurting, and allow time for our community to recover. Find resources for each of these items featured on below.
Establishing Context: Why is this incident significant and how can we bring others into the conversation?
For those looking for additional information about the shooting in Colorado Springs or the divisive rhetoric mentioned in our organization’s statement, we recommend exploring the following:
Host a Listening Session
If you are a manager, DEI leader, or member of an LGBTQ+ ERG, know that your colleagues are affected by this. If appropriate for your organization, think about hosting a listening session or expressing to colleagues that you’re available to chat if it would help lighten the weight of this loss.
We recommend reading the following two articles to help deciding if a listening session is right for your group:
Support Colorado Springs
The Colorado Healing Fund was established to help communities rebuild after mass tragedies. The organization is currently accepting donations that will go to the families of the deceased, the survivors, and the greater impacted community: www.coloradogives.org/story/Clubq
Mental Health Resources
This is a difficult time for everyone. If you need support or you know someone that needs support, find the resource that best fits your needs below. Resources compiled by MTPC.