This past weekend, on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, at least five people—including Daniel Davis Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance—were killed and 19 injured in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs.
In seconds, a night of dancing and community turned into a horrific nightmare that claimed the lives of five beloved, precious human beings. Our hearts are broken for their loved ones.
Here at Together Rising, it is our deep honor to stand with the LGBTQ+ community and invest in their care and wellbeing. We stand in solidarity with the Colorado Springs community and the country to mourn the lives and the sense of safety that have been shattered.
The hate that motivated this deplorable tragedy is not isolated—it is indicative of anti-LGBTQ+ hate that is rising throughout the country.
In particular, of those who have been identified, at least two of the victims of the shooting were transgender community members. Anti-trans violence continues to disproportionately traumatize and kill Black women and women of color, with 32 transgender people having been killed so far in 2022 alone. Yet this violence receives so little attention that Transgender Day of Remembrance—which occurred yesterday—was created to draw attention to and honor those have been slain.
There is attention on this important issue right now, but what happens when the news cycle moves on? Who will still be there to hold space and show up for LGBTQ+ Coloradans?
Our queer-led, deeply embedded partner, Queer Asterisk, will remain. Together Rising is investing $50,000 in their vital work of continuing to provide inclusive mental health care for the queer community of Colorado through a social justice lens. By making counseling, educational, and therapeutic programs by queer providers accessible, Queer Asterisk is maintaining a critically needed safe space for LGBTQ+ Coloradans.
With love and rage and hope,