WASHINGTON – In his message this Transgender Day of Remembrance 2022, the day set aside to honor the lives lost to hate, bigotry and anti-trans violence, President Joe Biden marked the lives of transgender Americans known to have been killed this year by horrific acts of brutality and highlighted the attack on the LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs which killed 5 and injured an additional 25 people.

“There is no place for violence, hatred, and bigotry in America. Yet, tragically, as last night’s attack in Colorado Springs reminds us, too many LGBTQI+ people in the United States—and around the world—continue to face unconscionable attacks. This is especially true for transgender Americans. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the 32 transgender Americans known to have been taken from us this year by horrific acts of brutality. The true toll is likely much higher, with Black and brown transgender women disproportionately targeted,” Biden said in a press release from the White House.
“In the face of this ongoing assault, my Administration remains deeply committed to strengthening the rights of LGBTQI+ Americans, including transgender Americans. Since taking office, we have made it possible for transgender service members to once again serve proudly and openly in our military, improved the travel experience for transgender Americans, and provided resources to support the mental health of transgender kids and their families. I’ve directed my team to coordinate across the federal government to combat violence against transgender people and advance equality,” he continued adding, “I continue to urge state leaders to combat the disturbing wave of discriminatory state laws targeting young transgender Americans—legislation that hurts young people who aren’t hurting anyone. With Congress poised to pass the bipartisan Respect For Marriage Act, I also reiterate my call for them to likewise pass the Equality Act and provide long overdue protections to transgender and all LGBTQI+ Americans.
“This is a matter of safety and basic dignity. As we mourn the lives we’ve lost, let us resolve to continue building a country where every American can live free from fear and discrimination,” the president concluded.

As law enforcement authorities continue to investigate stories from inside Club Q are emerging. LGBTQ Victory Fund board member Matt McDermott tweeted a clip of a survivor speaking to the media in the aftermath:

“This was our only safe space in Colorado Springs. Where are we going to go?”

Take two minutes and watch this. pic.twitter.com/y6Nh6sfMRz

— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) November 20, 2022

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Denver Field Office acknowledged that FBI personnel were assisting the Colorado Springs Police Department in the investigation. The FBI also said several federal agencies are reviewing the evidence “to determine what federal response is warranted.”

Colorado Springs Police Chief Andrian Vasquez told reporters that the gunman was subdued by “heroic” patrons who hit him with his own gun. Police also said that two firearms recovered at the scene, but it is not clear if both were in the suspect’s possession.

Across the United States as municipalities and LGBTQ organizations and advocacy groups mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, vigils and memorial services are including the mass shooting in Colorado Springs.

On Capitol Hill, Representatives Marie Newman (IL-03), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), the Co-Chairs of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus’ Transgender Equality Task Force, announced the introduction of a resolution commemorating November 20, 2022, as Transgender Day of Remembrance to memorialize the lives of transgender people lost due to violence in the United States and around the world.

“At least 32 transgender and gender non-confirming people were killed in our country this year alone. And this morning, many of us woke up to the horrific news that yet another LGBTQ+ club was the sight of devastating and senseless gun violence. We cannot let homophobia, transphobia, and hate win. The trans siblings we lose to violence every year are overwhelmingly Black, and overwhelmingly young. As the proud mom of an incredible trans child, I remain steadfast in my commitment to stop the needless hatred and violence that has affected our trans community for too long,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, in a statement released Sunday.

“With this resolution to recognize November 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the lives of the trans people we have lost to violence, recommit ourselves to creating a better and more just society for trans people to thrive, and salute the resilience of trans people everywhere.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights issued a statement marking the shooting and TDOR:

“Our hearts ache for the victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs,” said NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon. “5 lives were stolen, at least 18 more injured, and countless lives will be forever changed.

 It is devastating that they were targeted in a space where we look for community. 

We have seen an unmistakable rise in hateful rhetoric directed at our community. This rhetoric cannot be separated from the tragedy we grieve today. Anti-LGBT messages contribute to a culture that fans the flames of violence toward us. 

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor trans folks we have lost to violence and rededicate ourselves to ending this violence. To do this, we need real gun reform. And we need to dismantle the culture that allows hateful rhetoric to give rise to tragedies like this one.”

CSPD Chief Vasquez confirmed to media outlets that multiple search warrants are being executed. Police are asking anyone who may have information on the suspect or anyone potentially involved to please reach out to authorities.

Reaction in the LGBTQ community has ranged from disbelief to fear and also anger at far right extremists who have taken to Twitter and other platforms expressing satisfaction over the attack.

15-year-old Out LGBTQ New York City social media influencer Desmond Napoles known as ‘Desmond is amazing’ tweeted:


— Desmond Napoles (@desmond_amazing) November 20, 2022

New York Times journalist Emma Bubola reported: “Hours before it was hit by a deadly mass shooting Saturday night, Club Q in Colorado Springs posted on Facebook about a planned “all ages drag brunch” on Sunday morning. The event was described by the club as a celebration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of transgender people who lost their lives to anti-transgender violence.”

In recent years, the killings hundreds of transgender people in America, many of them trans women of color, continue to stoke fears of an “epidemic” of such violence.

The Human Rights Campaign reported:

HRC has officially recorded at least 300 violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people, including 32 in 2022 alone, since the organization began tracking this violence ten years ago. Overall, transgender and gender non-conforming victims of violence are overwhelmingly Black, under 35, and killed with a firearm.

The highest known single-year total of fatal deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people was in 2021, when at least 57 trans & gender non-conforming people were violently killed. Worse, these disturbing numbers likely underreport the deadly violence targeting transgender and gender non-confirming people, who may not be properly identified as transgender or gender non-conforming by police, media or other source

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