November 21, 2022 at 4:19 PM
“A place we love, a place of peace, a place to be ourselves.”
Dear CSSW Community,
On the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, there was a shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQIA+ safe place, in Colorado Springs. Five were killed, with many more physically injured, on top of the collective feelings of trauma and grief. And last week the Human Rights Campaign announced that at least 32 members of the transgender and gender non-conforming community have been killed so far in 2022. These are senseless deaths brought on by ignorance, fear, and hate.
Club Q was described in the news as “a fun, inclusive place to hang out.” Before the shooting, the club had posted on its Facebook page that they would be holding a special celebration of Trans Day of Remembrance on Sunday. There are so many familiar layers to this story – one of exclusion, hate, and violence – all facilitated by easy access to assault-style weapons. We can ask “why” for ages, but we will not find any answer that makes sense.
Where do we go from here? Joshua Thurman, who was enjoying a birthday celebration at Club Q when shots were fired, described the Club as “a place we love, a place of peace, a place to be ourselves” – an aspiration our community and our entire country should strive for. For now, let’s honor those lost and those who mourn, and imagine a better future – a more hopeful future. If we abandon hope, we abandon justice: justice for those who have died, for those who are suffering, and for those who are yet to come.
GLAAD has posted a number of resources and suggestions for ways to get involved in upholding trans rights. In the courageous and compelling words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
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Melissa D. Begg
Dean & Professor
Columbia School of Social Work