COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Club Q was far more than just a nightclub. For the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs, it offered a sense of belonging in a space where there was no judgement. As the community mourns those who died, they’re also coming to terms with losing a safe space where they felt welcome.
"It’s a club for people to go to where when you walk through the front door, you can be yourself. Whoever you are," Alycia Erickson, the Pastor at Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church, said.
Club Q was a safe space to so many in the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs. Erickson knew it was somewhere everyone was welcome. Her church is welcoming to all people, regardless of their sexuality.
"It makes the world a much more dangerous place," Erickson said of losing the club. "It does something to all of us psychologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually, knowing that that sanctuary has been violated in such a violent way."
The sanctuary at the Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church is now a place for mourning. It’s probably the only church in town that has pride flags and rainbow balloons around the building.
"It’s having a ripple effect far beyond the walls of Club Q, into the community," Erickson said.
Colorado Springs is a city that’s lost another safe haven.
Club Q is now behind police tape. The memorial outside is swarmed with TV cameras. And a community that once felt a sense of belonging inside a nightclub feels attacked in a place they thought was safe.
"Club Q has long been a safe space for people in the LGBTQ+ community to join together with others, to have fun, to dance," said Danette Tritch, a parent advocate and board member with PFLAG Colorado Springs, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ youth and families.
PFLAG is constantly working to create communities where everyone feels welcome.
"We safely gather once a month in a meeting that is like a support group," Tritch said. "We’re here to advocate for the safety of people who need that space."
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