Halifax vigil honours victims of Colorado Club Q shooting
NSCAD Queer Collective hosts memorial ceremony in Granville courtyard
November 30, 2022, 5:22 pm ASTLast Updated: November 30, 2022, 5:43 pm
A sombre crowd gathered Tuesday night in Halifax to honour the memory of the victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Nov. 19.
The shooting started in the late hours of a Saturday night, when a gunman opened fire into the nightclub, killing five people and injuring more than a dozen.
The NSCAD Queer Collective hosted the vigil in the Granville Courtyard, outside of NSCAD’s Duke Campus, where a crowd of about 30 people gathered to mourn the five victims.
Janet Murray came to pay her respects and lament on how the people who were in that club just wanted to feel safe being who they truly were.
“They just wanted to love someone and enjoy their own lives and … they died for it,” Murray said.
Members of the crowd were invited to speak about how the shooting affected them, their fears of increasing hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community, and their own personal struggles.
A 2020 Statistics Canada report says that LGBTQ+ Canadians (59 per cent) were more likely to have been physically and sexually assaulted by people who weren’t an intimate partner than heterosexual Canadians (37 per cent).
In 2021, Statistics Canada recorded an index of police reported hate-crimes. From 2020-2021 police recorded hate-crimes targeting sexual orientation increased 64 per cent.
“You can’t help who you fall in love with, why do you have to worry about dying because you love someone?” Murray said.
Andrew Deveaux is a NSCAD student and he said the turnout was good and it felt emotional to see that many people gathered to lend their support.
“Everyday has been emotional over the last sort of two weeks and throughout the month, with trans remembrance and trans issues being at the forefront and people struggling a lot,” he said.
Deveaux said it felt affirming to see that many people come together in order to help one another.
Emily Belliveau, who said she was attending her first-ever vigil, said that when there is tragedy, it’s important to come together as a community and support each other, which she believes can help in the healing process.
“I think that we should try our best to be there for each other … if someone has a friend who’s struggling … be there for them as much as you can,” Belliveau said.
“If you’ve already lost someone, then do everything you can to remember them, make sure that their voice can still be heard.”
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