Mourning the Victims of Gun Violence in Colorado Springs

Advocates for Youth, with a very heavy heart, stands strongly in support of our LGBTQIA+ communities across the country and around the world. We send love and support to the city of Colorado Springs in the wake of the shooting at Club Q, an attack which occurred hours before events commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance.

We honor the victims who were murdered:  Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Derrick Rump, and Raymond Green Vance.  We honor the heroic club patrons who subdued the gunman.

As details of the case develop, we condemn both gun violence and the homophobic and transphobic rhetoric that is putting the very lives of young people at risk every day across this country. We know this formula. First, media personalities and politicians use heightened rhetoric and lies to gain votes from their most conservative constituents. Then, violent radicals take this as an impetus and an excuse to kill. Throughout 2022 we’ve seen bomb threats on children’s hospitals, attacks on drag performers, and organized militia attacks on Pride celebrations.  

Our LGBTQ+ young people are facing both physical violence, and the mental health toll of having their very selves othered and vilified. We ask Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, and every other Republican targeting LGBTQ youth to score political points: what will it take to stop the attacks?  

LGBTQ+ young people deserve to be safe, affirmed, and celebrated for who they are. They shouldn’t be growing up in an atmosphere of violence and criminalization. This latest attack won’t be the last unless our media and our government stop spreading hate and promoting violence.