Last night, a shooter opened fire at Club Q, a queer nightclub, in Colorado Springs, USA killing five people and injuring at least 18. This, among other hate attacks in the past, is a harsh reminder that homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are on the rise, and are increasing in the face of extremism. Canada is not immune to such hateful rhetoric, discrimination, and violence.
We feel this attack viscerally. There are very few spaces for our communities to gather and feel safe. Club Q was one of them. We carry the weight of trauma from each swipe at our bodily autonomy, each homophobic remark and attack on our very existence. Governments, policymakers, and institutions need to be held accountable for this increasing hate and easy access to weaponry.
Today is the Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR), an opportunity to commemorate 2 Spirit, trans and non-binary lives lost, celebrate our communities, and importantly, advocate for trans human rights. An already difficult day has been made harder by this heart wrenching news. Our hearts go out to the grieving friends and family of the victims, as well as our local community members.
Trans Awareness Week is a reminder and opportunity to commit to being trans allies every day which includes standing up to hate in all its forms. We must all commit to this work: as public servants, politicians, policymakers, employers, landlords, community members, family members, neighbours, teachers, service providers, and business owners. Let’s ensure there isn’t another hate crime like this.
The 519 affirms our commitment to advocate for the rights of 2SLGBTQ+ people and rise up against attacks on our communities. The fight for our rights and safety is far from over. No one is safe till everyone is safe.
While we hold space for grief in our hearts, we must remember there is strength in community. We have always existed and will continue to rally against the hate that tries to erase us.
“An army of lovers shall not fail.” – Rita Mae Brown