Op-Ed: Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs follows six brutal years of Republican anti-LGBTQ rhetoric
A gay club shooter stalked the halls of a gay nightclub, hunting out gay men to kill, according to a new report from the AP that paints a grim and frightening portrait of the lives of LGBT people in the United States.
The AP was only able to get this story out after Colorado Springs police released a detailed search warrant that listed almost everything they had uncovered since a gunman killed six people and wounded 13 others on Sunday night.
The details are harrowing. The suspect, who appeared to have a history of mental illness, began stalking the gay club after attending a “Queer Awareness and Empowerment” event for LGBT people at the resort town’s pool hall. Surveillance photos showed him in costume, wearing a mask and dark glasses.
He appeared to be making up for the years he’d lost to AIDS as a result of drug abuse.
His behavior is an indicator of the problems facing many LGBT people in the U.S. right now. The year was 1882, the place San Francisco, home to the Alamo, and the man at the time was an openly gay man with mental illness. He killed eight people in the gay neighborhood.
As more LGBT people struggle with mental illness than ever before, their lives have deteriorated further.
“This time, there will be more victims,” said Dave Price, who organized a rally in downtown Colorado Springs against the shooting. “There will be more.”
The shooter’s rampage has become the first such mass shooting at a gay nightclub in more than a decade, as gay people have become more open about their sexual identity.
And it has left us wondering if a club shooting in this country could ever happen again — unless, of course, the shooter is gay and has a mental illness.
The AP’s story begins and ends with something that’s becoming all too true