By: Alexa Johnstone
In a year where Velma is a lesbian, LGBTQ+ sounds are constantly trending on TikTok, and we assume everyone is at least bisexual until proven otherwise, it appears as though homophobia is steadily declining across the globe. However, with the deepening polarization of politics in America, the LGBTQ+ community is not being celebrated as much as it is being questioned by alt-right actors and supporters. The result is terrifying. Now, LGBTQ+ rights are not only being threatened on the Court (with the repeal of Roe v Wade on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment),
but the community's safety and well-being is now enduring unprecedented threats as well.
On Saturday, November 19th 2022, Colorado Spring's LGBT bar Club Q, once a monument of gay and trans culture, became a monument of American hate crime. Late on Saturday night, the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, a 22-year-old man opened fire, killing five people and wounding dozens of others.
This was not an assault on the individuals harmed and the those personally affected by the tragedy, this is an assault on every single member of the LGBTQ+ community. And while we must stand in solidarity as we continue to celebrate our pride and culture, the climate in which we stand appears bleak and dejected--if not crumbling at our feet.
This is a wake up call to many democratic nations whom believe the changing nature of politics won't undermine legitimacy or individual rights and freedoms. A change in politics represents the body politic; and so a change in politics manifests as tragedies like this one.
According to an analysis of data by the American Civil Liberties Union, 2022 is a record year for the proposal of anti-LGBTQ state bills. As of July, 162 bills targeting LGBT rights, spread across 35 states, have been introduced.
Despite shock and devastation among the masses concerning the Colorado Springs massacre, should we be surprised? America in 2022 is not a nation of diversity, equity and inclusion, nor is it even a nation of tolerance. Rather, America is a nation of deepening red and fading blue colours.
Today, let's stand together as we remember the victims of Club Q; but tomorrow we must continue to educate ourselves on the impact of polarizing politics in seemingly democratic nations.
Check in on your queer friends and if you feel obliged to donate to the victims of the Club Q shooting, I encourage you to check out these links and share with friends and family: