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Poem named after Club Q resurfaces years after it was written

“I wanted Club Q to be the title poem of this book because I wanted the collection to be an inclusive, radically inclusive sort of space," said poet James Davis.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A poem written years ago is now resurfacing after the Club Q tragedy. 

James Davis named the title poem of his book after Club Q

"The speaker is the club and voicing what it is to be that kind of space and what it is to contain the community in a town like Colorado Springs that often feels marginalized, excluded and preyed upon," he said.

He said a collection of his poetry, published in 2020, details what it was like growing up in Colorado Springs as a queer child.

Davis said now his poem, written more than a decade ago, has a new meaning to him. 

Credit: James Davis

"It's an intense mixture of emotions," he said. "I wrote that poem wanting to memorialize it before I knew it would need a memorial like this." 

Although now he's hundreds of miles away, he still feels a strong connection to Club Q. 

"At the time it just meant a place for me to be myself in a way that I couldn’t be in any of the other social spaces I had found up to that point in Colorado Springs," said Davis. "It [Club Q] just helped me realize who I am, helped me tell my story a little bit better."

Credit: James Davis
James Davis as a child growing up in Colorado Springs.

He said he named his book after Club Q because he wanted it to be an inclusive space, just like the place that welcomed him in. 

"It always felt like a welcoming place but also very well guarded, like they knew that they were in the midst of a sometimes very hostile environment," said Davis. 

He said it's difficult knowing his work is resurfacing in the midst of tragedy but he's hopeful to hear that it's helping a grieving community heal. 

Davis said people from around the world have also reached out. 

"I got a message from someone in South Africa today who said how much they appreciated reading the poem," he said. "It’s helped me realize you don’t need to be physically present in order to make a difference."

The last time he was at Club Q was in 2016, just before the Pulse nightclub tragedy. He hopes to make it back to Colorado for the holidays, so he can pay his respects.

"Stand up for the queer and trans people in your life. Hold homophobes and transphobes accountable because we can’t treat that as a valid way of living in the world," said Davis. "We need to be really active about counteracting the kind of rhetoric that led to this situation."    

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