Club Q massacre exposed police and queerphobes for who they really are

A memorial for the victims of the Club Q massacre
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A murderer killed five people at Club Q in Colorado Springs, US, on Saturday 19 November. Since then, more details and reactions to the massacre have emerged – laying bare some of the hate and bigotry that led to people’s deaths in the first place.

Club Q: another attack on the LGBTQIA+ community

As the Canary previously reported, the murderer opened fire late on 19 November, killing five people and injuring dozens of others. Club-goers restrained him until police arrived. Some background information on the murderer has been released:

Police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, and said he had used a long rifle at the club. Aldrich is reportedly the grandson of Randy Voepel, an outgoing Republican state legislator. Voepel was a vocal supporter of the 6 January Capitol riot, which he called the “first shots fired against tyranny.” The shooting is the latest in a long line of attacks on LGBTQ+ venues in the United States, the deadliest of which claimed 49 lives at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016.

What is already becoming apparent is the massacre of five LGBTQIA+ people shows queerphobia, homophobia, and transphobia are deadly and damaging.

Institutionalised prejudice and bigotry

Take the police as an example. As one Twitter user pointed out, officers held the person who stopped the murderer in a police car for an hour:

She also noted that:

Time and time again the role of the police is to exacerbate trauma and punish anyone who uses their agency to help others. They are not here to help us, they are here to punish and control. Fuck the police. We protect us.

As poet Saeed Jones pointed out, LGBTQIA+ people are criticised for wanting nothing to do with the feds:

And if it wasn’t enough that someone murdered five people out of apparent hatred for who they are, other bigots are still pushing their wretched agendas off the back of innocent people’s suffering. As the Canary previously wrote, so-called ‘charity’ the LGB Alliance is vehemently anti-trans. It:

focuses its efforts to a greater extent on the denigration of trans individuals than they do the support of lesbian, gay and bisexual rights – particularly in their repeated focus on vulnerable trans children.

So, it’s unsurprising that the organisation’s tweet in response to the massacre was equally unpleasant:

Meanwhile, the Guardian – which has repeatedly published anti-trans writers in an attempt to show fake ‘balance’ – suddenly pretended to be on the side of trans people:

Remembering the victims

Ultimately, though, for now we should be remembering the victims:

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are rightly feeling scared right now. The venom and hatred behind the Club Q murderer’s actions are not far from the views of many in wider society – however much rainbow paint you try and whitewash it with. Moreover, some people would have many of us dead. Now is the time to remember the victims, but we mustn’t wait too long before turning grief into action. Our spaces are not safe; people are violating our right to live safely with respect and dignity. The threat is real – and must be opposed.

Featured image via the Washington Post – YouTube

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