Atlanta LGBTQ community reacts to deadly shooting in Colorado
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Sunday, many within the Atlanta LGBTQ were shaken by the deadly shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs late Saturday evening.
“I think to wake up to the news of the murder of LGBTQ folks, especially on a day like today, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, is incredibly sobering and sad,” said Jamie Ferguson, Executive Director of Atlanta Pride.
“It is a reminder of how much work we still have left to do to bring full acceptance, equality, and safety to all members of our community,” said Ferguson.
“The Mayor’s Division of LGBTQ Affairs joins the world in mourning the five lives taken at #ClubQ, an LGBTQ establishment in Colorado Springs, last night,” the department wrote on a social media post.
According to local law enforcement in Colorado, five people were killed and twenty-five people were injured when a 22-year-old gunman walked into ClubQ and opened fire.
Agencies are investigating the shooting as a potential hate crime.
“You have crazy people across America who feel empowered to do crazy things,” said one man who identified as a member of the LGBTQ community, outside an Atlanta Midtown bar on Sunday.
Ferguson said she’d like to see legislative action to help prevent mass shootings in metro Atlanta.
“We’re winning over those hearts and minds, but I do expect there will be more incidents like this, particularly until we get better hate crimes laws and until there is more safety around how people can get high-capacity weapons in this country,” said Ferguson, in an interview with Atlanta News First on Sunday.
Some LGBTQ bar-goers who spoke with Atlanta News First on Sunday said they started to be more vigilant after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016.
“Since then, I’ve been feeling very, not scared, but you just have to be aware. You really have to be aware because unfortunately we are targeted. There are some people that don’t like us,” said Karon Chaney.
Despite the threat, Chaney and many others told Atlanta News First that they overall feel very safe in Atlanta.
“It’s the Black gay mecca. So yeah, absolutely, I feel 100 percent supported. I do feel a lot of love. I feel like where there’s a lot of hate, there’s even more love,” said Chaney.
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