Lexington LGBTQ community reacts to Colorado nightclub shooting

Lexington LGBTQ community reacts to Colorado nightclub shooting
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:08 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - News of the deadly shooting at the LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs is hitting communities across the county, including right here in Lexington.

We spoke to a community activist who says they’re of course sad and deeply hurt, but say they refuse to live in fear.

Anthony Smallwood, known on stage as Helena Handbasket, is a comedian, community activist and Drag Queen performer, Whose shows bring lighthearted fun to the audience. Much like the one at Club Q the night of the shooting.

“To have someone go in and start shooting for no apparent reason other than LGBTQ+ people are in there, during a drag show when people are just trying to laugh, be happy and enjoy themselves is beyond me,” Smallwood said.

LGBTQ nightclubs are meant to be safe spaces where people become families. This is what Club Q was and it’s what so many in Kentucky have found here.

As Chris Hartman, the Fairness Campaign Executive Director says, it’s another reminder for the community to hold each other tight, especially as those inside the club held the shooter back themselves. Saving so many lives in the process.

“This is again the message that gets sent,” Hartman said. “Nobody is going to save us but ourselves.”

Hartman’s office works to fight legislation that would take rights away from LGBTQ+ people and now his mission seems more important to him than ever before.

“Know that there is a community fighting for you. Our community is one of the strongest I’ve ever seen or ever known. And it must be. We will not stop, we won’t back down,” Hartman said. “And we will continue to lift each other up in light and love.”

Smallwood still has plans to perform this upcoming weekend.

To donate to those hurt by the shooting, go to www.One-Colorado.org. To donate to Lexington’s LGBTQ community, go to www.lexpridecenter.org/