QS Statment on the Club Q Mass Shooting
The Queer Studies Program grieves the tragic loss of five lives in the mass shooting at Club Q, the LGBTQIA+ nightclub in Colorado Springs on November 20, 2022. We stand in solidarity with the survivors, and we send our condolences to all who lost a loved one that night. We also express outrage at the lives brutally taken from LGBTQIA+ people in what should have been a safe space, and we offer empathy for all who were injured in the attack and are still in recovery. We not only feel for you; we feel with you.
The fact that this hate crime took place on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual day to honor the memory of trans people killed in the past year, only amplifies the trauma experienced all too often by trans and nonbinary people within our community.
We see this anti-LGBTQIA+ attack, much like the one at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, as an outgrowth of the homophobia and transphobia found in the pervasive hate speech perpetuated by many on the political far right, as well as in the distorted media images of our community in far right media. We condemn the 300+ anti-LGBTQIA bills currently proposed in state legislatures across the country, we condemn the banning of books with LGBTQIA themes, and we condemn all other acts of symbolic violence that foster discrimination. We oppose Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which would prohibit university faculty from discussing racism, homophobia & transphobia in the classroom. And we call on the US Senate to pass not only the Respect for Marriage Act, to provide protections for LGBTQIA+ married couples, but also the Equality Act, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, finances and housing. We believe it is imperative to connect these dots, to speak out against homophobic and transphobic policies, and to counter hate speech at every turn.
Queer Studies is dedicated to educating students to help create a world where all in our community may live their lives free of fear and hatred, a world which values the diversities of cultures, ethnicities, perspectives, and literatures of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, nonbinary, and queer people and communities, including queer people of color. In the Queer Studies Program, we stand as one in unity at this time of grief and outrage. We believe love is love, and we believe love wins.
QS Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
The Queer Studies Program stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and with protestors nationwide who have taken to the streets to demand justice in the face of a white supremacist system that has killed African Americans with impunity for too long. We know only too well the ongoing state violence against LGBTQ+ communities, and trans people in particular, as evidenced by the murder of Tony McDade, a black trans man killed by police on the streets of Tallahassee, Florida on May 28th, 2020. We grieve his loss alongside the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others that have unceasingly revealed the fatal realities of this country’s justice system.
June is Pride Month, marking the Stonewall uprising in June 1969, which was led by trans women of color standing up to police brutality. Their protests set off a national movement for equality. LGBTQ+ people of all races have had a history of fighting for our right to exist, to be treated equally and to challenge oppressive systems in all forms. The Queer Studies Program denounces historical instances of racism within the LGBTQ+ community and is continually working towards teaching from an anti-racist paradigm for our present and future queer communities. We teach our students to challenge norms, to work for justice and to understand that our struggles are intertwined. When one of us can’t breathe, none of us lives free. We stand in solidarity with all marginalized communities and allies who are joining together to demand systemic change, racial justice and a society where Black Lives Matter, period.