You've probably heard the tragic news today about the horrific shooting at Club Q in Colorado. A 22-year-old gunman was taken into custody after he opened fire at the LGBTQIA+ nightclub soon before midnight on Saturday (US time), killing at least five people and injuring 25 more.
Our own Edge Breakfast host Eli Matthewson reacted to the attack as part of his ‘That’s So Gay’ news segment this morning which rounds up the week's top queer news stories.
Eli discussed how “uncomfortable” this story was to cover in what is usually a fun and light-hearted discussion on LGBTQIA+ current events, but how important it was that we talk about it.
Eli touched on the fact that this happened following months of US conservative politicians condemning the LGBTQIA+ community. In particular, some have taken aim at drag queens who have participated in programmes reading books to young children.
“They’re saying that they’re grooming children, which they’re not and it’s so far from that,” Eli said.
“It’s this rhetoric which leads to hate and terrorist attacks like this.”
He concluded: “It’s not happening in New Zealand yet, but as soon as you hear any politicians talking about that shut it down because it’s bullshit.”
The shooting took place just before the clock ticked over to Sunday, which was also Transgender Day of Remembrance - a day set aside to remember all those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia.
During the attack on Saturday night, at least two people inside the club confronted and fought the gunman which prevented further violence, Police Chief Adrian Vasquez told CNN.
“We owe them a great debt of thanks.”
“Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens,” Vasquez added.
“Every citizen has a right to feel safe and secure in our city, to go about our beautiful city without fear of being harmed or treated poorly.”
Club Q released their own statement that read: “We’re devastated by the senseless attack on our community.”
The club went on to thank “the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack".
Our hearts go out to all the families, friends and everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community who have been affected by this tragic event.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please don’t hesitate to talk to any of the readily available support services and information hubs for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Freephone 0800 OUTLINE (0800 688 5463)
Support queer and gender-diverse youth aged 13-27 including through an Asian peer support group. Phone (09)3764155.
Gender Minorities Aotearoa
Trans community resources and database. Phone 020 404 92568.