NASPA Statement about Colorado Springs Club Q Shooting

Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice
November 21, 2022

NASPA mourns the five lives lost and those wounded and affected by Saturday night’s mass shooting in Colorado Springs at Club Q. Words fail to describe the sadness and anger at understanding that the gunman perpetrated violence in a place designed to create feelings of affirmation and safety. For many queer and trans people, nightclubs have served as spaces of joy, love, and resistance, and in Colorado Springs in particular, Club Q has been one of few places where the city’s small, yet close and strong, queer and trans community feels welcomed and valued. Our hearts are breaking at the tragic loss, and we especially hold our queer and trans colleagues in our thoughts, including those in the Colorado Springs area and beyond. 

Queer and trans people live with an ever-present threat and reality of violence. Yesterday marked Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time when we pause to remember and honor transgender people killed because of anti-trans violence and hate. We do not know at this time whether the shooter intentionally chose this day. Regardless, though, he chose a time and place when queer and trans people gathered for community. 

NASPA calls on all of our community to examine, learn, and take action to break down heterosexism and transphobia (among other forms of marginalization) embedded in systems that regulate education, healthcare, religion, employment, family, and more. In subsequent messaging, NASPA will share opportunities for learning and action. In the meantime, we encourage members to take their own action in the forms of:

  • Reaching out to queer and trans colleagues, without the expectation that they respond, and offering supervisees and students the space and time to grieve and heal.

  • Connecting with NASPA’s Gender and Sexuality Knowledge Community, which offers community and the opportunity to connect with others engaged in addressing intersecting forms of oppression on our campuses and communities. 

  • Downloading NASPA’s January 2022 issue brief, “Current U.S. State Policy Landscape Impacting Transgender and Gender Non-Binary College Students.”

  • Learning about the scope and limitations of the Respect for Marriage Act and so-called religious freedom legislation, and supporting local, state, and national candidates who commit to taking action on issues of equity and justice.

  • Considering how you are making intentional moves to disrupt homophobia, transphobia, and other interlocking forms of marginalization on your own campuses and finding ways to honor the resilience and agency of queer and trans people.