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Grief gives way to anger and a push for action on new LGTBQ+ resources in the Springs

Club Q was a focal point for the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs, locals said. Now a group has started an effort to create a permanent pride center.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The deadly mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ nightclub shattered the feelings of community refuge and celebration that had grown there over 20 years -- and has now led to calls for more action to support the LGBTQ+ community in the city.

A gunman killed five people and injured more than a dozen others at Club Q late Saturday night, police said. He is being held on suspicion of murder and hate crime charges.

"It is the community hub, it’s our center," said Greg Resha, who DJed at Club Q for a decade until 2021. "Now that that’s been violated, we’re trying to see if where what else we can do, where else can we go."

Resha lost two friends in the shooting -- Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump -- and said another was in the hospital recovering. "Club Q has been the staple of the community in Colorado Springs," he said. 

Now, he thinks the city needs a pride center -- a place where LGBTQ+ people can find information and community. "There’s a need outside of nightlife that the community is really thirsty for," he said. "There is a dire need in this community for a central hub, a place for the LGBT community to go for resources."

Resha has connected with community organizations and others to try to start the process of finding a space to establish a resource center in Colorado Springs. The group has started a GoFundMe to raise funds to help.

"The LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs is forever changed after this, Resha said. We are going to need a constant presence for support in this town for the long term  -- and so helping to start a pride center is going to complete that vision I believe."

At the city's first council meeting since the mass shooting on Tuesday, a dozen activists petitioned political leaders to take a stronger stand -- against guns and hate, and in favor of LGBTQ love. 

"The level of hate that’s allowed down here, it’s very different than other parts of the state," said activist Angelica Givler, who is a public school teacher in Colorado Springs. 

Another activist, Jerima King, said she came to the city council meeting to show support for the LGBTQ community. "We can’t continue living in the fear that our LGBTQ community lives in now that their one safe space was attacked so violently," she said. 

King asked city councilmembers to encourage police to support red flag laws to help prevent future violence, but King and Givler fear their requests fell on deaf ears. "We have the laws, but then they don’t enforce them," King said.

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