As I prepare for the holiday weekend, looking at possible recipes and tidying the house, the news is filled with continual updates from the tragedy in Colorado Springs. We are again witness to the horror of a mass shooting, this time at ‘Club Q,’ a place of connection for the LGBTQ+ community. The act was blatantly violent and was over in minutes. We know five were killed and many more injured. We extend our love to the Colorado Springs community.
Rev. Gretchen Haley, a UU minister in Colorado, who identifies as queer, captured some hard realities in a recent Facebook post. She shares,
“For those whose gender expands beyond expectations and whose love doesn’t color in the lines, the gay bar has often been a safe place – a sanctuary not too different from a church. Especially in a city like Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family, where strategies to destroy queer people have been dressed up in bible verses for decades.
It is not news to LGBTQIA+ people that our lives, bodies, love, and very existence are a threat some cannot abide. In response, the queer community has claimed space at places like Club Q and made whole worlds from freedom, love, and glitter. On the dance floor, we proclaim our inherent worth, our right to unconditional love, and our right to pleasure and life, abundant.
We also know all too well that until the society beyond these sanctuaries’ walls is transformed with this same vision, even our safe places can become sites of terror.”
I’m struck by the contrast. In the blink of an idea, the shift from joy to terror.
To all of our members and friends with LGBTQIA+ identities, I can just imagine the trauma, anger, sadness and vulnerability you may be feeling. My heart goes out to each of you. May you feel seen and loved at this time, and know you are supported by the full UUFE community.
We witness the pain, and re-commit to building a world where love and joy ward off hate.