This past weekend, as the nation was commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day to honor all those whose lives were lost to transphobic and anti-LGBTQ+ violence – a lone gunman stormed a Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ nightclub and opened fire, murdering five people and injuring over 25 others. Bastyr University strongly condemns this vile act, and we stand with the LGBTQ+ community and all the victims of discrimination and hate-fueled violence. We send our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims of this heinous attack and stand with the survivors who are having to navigate the trauma from this incident.
This horrible hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community is an affront to all of us as a human community. The nightclub – Club Q – has been a longtime safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community; and this targeted act of violence on what is a joyful and safe gathering space is not only detestable but truly has no place in our society.
For decades, so many lives have been unjustly taken due to transphobic violence and hate and continue to be harmed and lost because of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric that permeates our society. We cannot allow this hate and othering to fester, and we must meet these toxic words and acts of violence with education and sustained action. At Bastyr, we will continue to do the necessary work to ensure that the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into everything we do so that we can collectively nurture a culture and climate where everyone feels safe and welcome. For gateway resources to build and advance learning around DEI competency, visit our (internal) DEI Resources page on SharePoint. For ways to engage and advocate, click here.
If you are a student and you or someone you know needs support and space to process this tragedy, please reach out to the Bastyr Counseling Center at (425) 602-3093 or by email at email@example.com, or use our log in to your account for Telephonic Counseling Sessions. If you are am employee, do not hesitate to seek support through our Employee Assistance Program through ComPsych. Other external resources for support are available below:
1-866-488-7386 Text ‘START’ to 678-678 to connect via text message, or chat online here.
As a community, let us hold space and grace for each other, reach out to someone who you think needs support, and be kind to one another.
Devin Byrd, PhD