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This is the owner of the gay club in Colorado Springs where a mass shooting left 5 dead

2022-11-25T02:20:04.534Z

Nic Grzecka assured that the massacre that occurred during a 'drag queens' show is the consequence of right-wing rhetoric that, without foundation, accuses these artists of “sexualizing” or “influencing” children.



By Jesse Bedayn -

The Associated Press

One of the two owners of Club Q, the Colorado Springs gay nightclub where a gunman turned a birthday celebration with

drag queens

into a massacre, said Thursday that the shooting that left five dead and 17 injured is a reflection of a radicalized anti-LGBTQ sentiment.

Nic Grzecka

's voice

sounded tired when he spoke to The Associated Press news agency Wednesday night offering some of his first comments since Saturday night's attack on Club Q, a venue Grzecka helped build and which has been a haven for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs, a largely conservative city.

Grzecka said that the feeling

anti-LGBTQ in the city has gone from being just

prejudice to materializing in acts of incitement to violence.

The authorities have not clarified what was the motive of Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, who they accused of shooting inside the club before several clients neutralized him.

Her lawyers said that she identifies with the binary gender and uses the neuter pronoun "elle," she has not made a public statement.

Club Q owners Matthew Haynes (foreground) and Nic Grzecka in Colorado Springs. David Zalubowski / AP

Grzecka believes the shooting at the

drag

show is a consequence of the way in which some right-wing politicians and activists have baselessly accused those who practice this art form of "sexualizing" or "influencing" children.

Although acceptance of the LGBTQ community has increased overall, this new dynamic has fostered a dangerous climate.

“It's one thing to walk down the street holding my boyfriend's hand and being spit on, and it's quite another for a politician to say that a

drag queen

can 'pervert' her children,” Grzecka said.

"I'd rather be spit on in the street than hate reaching these extremes right now."

[A tumultuous past surrounds the suspect in the Colorado club shooting]

Earlier this year, the Republican-majority Florida legislature passed a bill barring teachers from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation with younger students.

A month later, the use of words like “pedophiles” and “

grooming

” (a term used to describe bad influences) to describe LGBTQ people increased by 400%, according to a Human Rights Campaign report.

“Lying about our community and turning its people into something they are not breeds a different kind of hate,” Grzecka warned.

He started mopping the floors and bartending at Club Q in 2003, a year after it opened.

He said he hopes to channel his hurt and anger into trying to turn the club back into the haven he's been for Colorado Springs' LGBTQ community.

This Latino veteran does not want to be called a hero (but for many he is for his action in the Colorado shooting)

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Local and state officials have expressed their support for the survivors and families of the victims.

Also President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, who contacted Grzecka and co-owner Matthew Haynes Thursday to offer their condolences and reiterate their support for the community, as well as their commitment to fighting hate and bullying. violence with firearms.

Club Q, a haven for the LGBTQ community

Grzecka said Club Q opened just after the only other gay bar in Colorado Springs at the time closed.

It was a time of transition for gay bars, he said.

Decades ago, they used to be gloomy places whose main function was to connect people looking for a partner.

But that changed with the advent of the internet and online dating sites.

So bars became clean, well-lit spaces to hang out with friends.

Club Q was at the forefront of that transition.

[Conservative media and social media influencers step up their anti-LGBTQ rhetoric after deadly shooting at Colorado gay club]

When he became a co-owner in 2014, Grzecka helped turn Club Q into more than just a nightspot, into a community hub, a platform for LGBTQ people to feel "like family," especially those estranged from their biological family.

Bingo nights with

drag queens

, Christmas dinners, gift exchanges between friends, and birthday celebrations became recurring fixtures

at Club Q, which was open 365 days a year.

Following the shooting that left the club destroyed, Grzecka and other local leaders said they are channeling their pain and anger into rebuilding that support site that only Club Q had been able to provide.

“When that base goes away, you realize how much the bar was really providing,” said Justin Burn, an organizer with Pikes Peak Pride.

“Those who were part of the Q Club family, where will they go now?”

"I was going to kill my daughter and my wife."

The Latino who arrested the attacker in a Colorado club speaks

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Burn believes the shooting has highlighted the lack of resources for LGBTQ adults in Colorado Springs.

Grzecka and others are now working with national organizations to assess community needs and develop a plan to provide a stronger support network.

Grzecka seeks to rebuild the "culture of love" and support the community to "make sure this tragedy becomes as positive as possible for the city."

“Everybody needs their community,” he said.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-11-25

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