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Delta Pride responds to the Club Q shooting

Xavi Saenz is the co-founder of Delta Pride which held its first annual Delta Pride festival was held on September 24, 2022.
Lisa Young
Xavi Saenz is the co-founder of Delta Pride which held its first annual Delta Pride festival was held on September 24, 2022.

The LGBTQ community nationwide and in Colorado mourns another senseless shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

A 22 year old gunman killed 5 patrons and wounded 19 others at the night club on November 19.

The deadly incident took place just moments before the start of Transgender Remembrance Day.

Delta native and founder of Delta Pride, Xavi Saenz, shared his thoughts on the shooting and its impact on the LGBTQ community.

"November 20 is a day that our community has already set aside to mourn the loss of our transgender siblings that have been taken too soon, and yet again, our community was attacked and even closer this time in Colorado Springs," he said.

Saenz said Club Q, one of the few LGBTQ friendly spaces in Colorado Springs, a place he had frequented and where he had made life-long friends, had been turned into a war zone.

"And that war zone was created by hate. We create our own safe spaces to avoid this. We create our own churches, our own families, our own memorials, our own events, our Prides. And when you ask us why we need Pride, this is why," said Saenz.

"It should be a safe space. This person came into our safe spaces and they took lives, and I fear maybe I shouldn't do these shows anymore, maybe I shouldn't hold these Prides anymore. But you will not keep us silent, and you will not scare us back into the closet. And we will stand close together a little bit tighter, and we will love each other a little bit more."

Saenz referenced the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that has escalated in recent years as part of the violence.

"When our school board members and our elected officials in this area, write us off and tell us that 'we are too triggered, that we are too sensitive and that we'll be okay and just go by that name and just go into that restroom and take it,' you are planting that thought in their head and you are putting the bullet in that gun. I beg you. I beg you. Stop this. Educate people love one another."

Saenz finished with a message of love and urged people to access resources if they need help.

"I'm a small town trans man. I'm here for peer support. I'm here. Bless you all, be kind."

Axis Mental Health: 970 247 5245

The Trevor Project offers counseling for LGBTQ youth.

Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START’ to 678-678

This story from KVNF was shared with Aspen Public Radio via Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a network of public media stations in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico including Aspen Public Radio.

Lisa Young is a multimedia journalist living on the Western Slope of Colorado. She currently works as a freelance reporter for KVNF "Mountain Grown Community Radio" in Paonia, Colorado.