A Letter of Love and Support in the Aftermath of Club Q

To our beloved trans and nonbinary community,

Once again, our resilience is called upon to see us through. I must admit I’m at a loss for words as our community and loved ones face increased attacks from the recent bomb threats at Boston Children’s Hospital to the horrific mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs on the eve of Trans Day of Remembrance. Their terror is aimed at erasing us. It is devastating to witness. My heart aches for those who have lost their lives so horrifically and those who loved them fiercely. I am with you all in collective anger, grief, and exhaustion. 

Safe spaces are few and far between for queer and trans people. Dance floors, bars, clubs, and other nightlife spaces have historically been one of the primary places our community has gathered, learned and taught, organized and fundraised. Most importantly, it’s where we’ve found connection to community, our chosen families and friends, and the freedom to be ourselves; it’s where we’ve found love.

Make no mistake, the shooting at Club Q is a direct result of anti-trans rhetoric spewed by leaders and influential decision-makers who champion the criminalization of gender-affirming care, tout barring trans youth in sports and banning LGBTQ books in schools and libraries, parade their guns, advocate for loose gun laws and incite terror by threats and calls for violence. This abuse against the trans and nonbinary community is strategic and calculated. Like an abusive partner, they mean to isolate us, make our lives smaller, make us distrustful and exist only in the shadows, or not at all. It is the purpose of abuse: to break the spirit. And yet, we persist. Our authenticity and love for each other cannot and will not be held prisoner. This is what scares them about us, the freedom we found in being ourselves.

MTPC would like to extend our deepest condolences to the chosen family, friends, relatives, and communities of those who have been lost at the hands of senseless transphobia, queerphobia, and gun violence. I know that some of us aren’t afforded the space to process or grieve, but I hope you all have people around you to hold close and lean on. May we continue to live fully, boldly, and courageously. 

In trans power and love,

Tre’Andre Carmel Valentine

The Colorado Healing Fund (CHF) is collecting donations directly in response to the Club Q shooting. CHF provides a secure way to donate to victims of mass violence in Colorado. https://www.coloradogives.org/story/Clubq 

If you need support, please contact one of the following resources.