December 7, 2023

LGBT+ Club Shooting in Colorado

On November 19, 2022, 5 people were murdered, and 25 were injured at Club Q in Colorado. Club Q was a nightclub geared towards the LGBT+ community and was essentially a haven, or so it was thought to be until Saturday night. Anderson Aldrich, a 22-year-old white man, committed this atrocious act. He has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of biased-motivated crime; mind you, this is not the first incident on his criminal record. In 2021, Aldrich threatened his own mother with a bomb, but his record was sealed as a result of being the grandson of the Californian assemblyman Randy Voepel. The privilege and nepotism he held were wrongfully placed and allowed him to own weapons again. The age-long discussion of guns and the right to bear arms, yet again, resurfaced along with the issue of anti-LGBT+ sentiment.
The LGBT+ community has always been a minority, and with that status comes floods of hatred and rhetoric fueling the violence against them. This tragedy, whether society would like to acknowledge it or not, is significantly due to the rise of LGBT+ hate across the United States. In recent years, the LGBT+ community has been dealing with an uptick in hate crimes. In March 2022, Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1557, most commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida. This is, however, the tip of the iceberg when discussing things contributing to the anti-LGBTQ sentiment.
The Libs of Tiktok, contrary to its name, is a conservative-run social media handle, most prominent on Twitter. This social media account is most commonly known for spreading hate to the LGBT+ community. It has received enough traction to be influential in the political sphere, promoting right-wing politicians and their views, including the “Don’t Say Gay” law. In light of the massacre, Lauren Boebert, a Colorado representative, posted a tweet sending prayers for victims of Club Q and their families. It was anything but genuine considering her previous stance on the topic of LGBT+ and transgender people. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out Lauren Boebert for “playing a major role in elevating anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies while spending her time in Congress blocking even the most common sense gun safety laws.” As if this wasn’t enough to show the blatant hate and disregard towards LGBT+ members, the day of the shooting was the transgender day of remembrance. Libs of Tiktok had targeted drag queens and transgender people that day. It is anything but a coincidence that there was a shooting at Club Q that day.