Milwaukee LGBTQ+ organizations hold vigil for victims of Club Q shooting

NOW: Milwaukee LGBTQ+ organizations hold vigil for victims of Club Q shooting


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Here in Milwaukee, more than 1,000 miles from Colorado Springs, where a gunman attacked an LGBTQ nightclub, emotions are just as raw. 

The Colorado Springs attack is taking Milwaukee's LGBTQ community right back to what they were feeling when transgender women were murdered here this summer.

There's heartbreak and there's fear, as hate finds itself once again rattling the LGBTQ community.

"I'm scared to go outside," said Jamie Ivanov. 

"There's a need for all of us to heal, and it can be very isolating when these types of things happen," said Ivanov.

A man with a rifle shot up Club Q, a popular LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. Faces of the five dead, posted at this vigil, now a haunting reminder that hate is still alive. And sadness has spread across the country.

"Anybody that knows the queer community knows that we are a very loving, very accepting, very happy group of people most of the time, right? So, for this type of attack to happen, it's polarizing," said K.B. Bjerk, Courage MKE board member.

Three days after the Club Q shooting, dozens gathered outside the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, listening and lighting candles for who they call their siblings in Colorado.

"We come here to remember Raymond and Kelly, Daniel and Derrick and Ashley, who lost their lives this weekend due to anti-queer hate and violence," said Pastor Jonah Overton with Zao MKE Church.

"Even in a city halfway across the country, even on a night that's chilly as this, you have people from all across Milwaukee who are here standing in solidarity and remembrance," said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson.

It's been a series of ups and downs lately for Milwaukee's LGBT community, with businesses now displaying safe stickers on windows in partnership with police. But the summer also saw the untimely deaths of three transgender women, and the Colorado shooting happened as Milwaukee was set to pay tribute to them.

"We received this incident taking critical attention away from TDOR - Trangender Day of Remembrance - where events were set to honor Brazil Johnson, Toi Davis and Mya Allen," said Justini Roby with Diverse & Resilient. 

Anyone struggling right now can reach out for emotional support by calling the non-emergency LGBTQ anti-violence resource line at 414-856-LGBT. 

You can also check out this website: Room to Be Safe.

Share this article: