APLA Health is devastated by the tragic shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightlight in Colorado Springs. Reports indicate that a gunman opened fire with an AR-15 style rifle and murdered at least five people. Dozens more were injured during the attack. The shooting occurred on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of transgender people who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence.
“We are heartbroken by this senseless tragedy and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs,” said APLA Health CEO Craig E. Thompson. “The attack brings back painful memories of the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, and once again, a venue that should be a safe place for LGBTQ+ people to come together and express themselves has become the target of terror and violence. We express our deepest love and condolences to the family and friends of those who were lost as well as all those impacted by this devastating act of violence.”
While the gunman’s motive is still unknown, the attack comes at a time when anti-LGBTQ+ violence and political attacks are increasing at an alarming rate. Nearly 1 in 5 of any type of hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias and reports of violence and intimidation against LGBTQ+ people across the country have become routine. At least 32 transgender people have been fatally shot or violently murdered in the last year alone. At the same time, legislators in state houses across the country introduced 344 anti-LGBTQ+ bills this year and many of them were enacted into law.
“These hateful and politically motivated actions have real impacts on the lives and safety of LGBTQ+ people,” continued Thompson. “As we mourn the tragic shooting in Colorado Springs, we demand that elected officials at all levels of government end their continuous attacks on the LGBTQ+ community and affirmatively take action to prevent these types of horrific events from ever happening again.”
APLA Health restores dignity and trust within underserved communities by providing world-class LGBTQ+ empowering healthcare, support services, and HIV specialty care. Since 1983, APLA Health has remained steadfast in its commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our lifetime. The agency is a multi-site operation includes eight Federally Qualified health Center (FQHC) locations, serving more than 18,000 people annually in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous. We provide 20 different services including: medical, dental, behavioral health and HIV specialty care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home healthcare; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impact the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information on APLA Health visit https://aplahealth.org.