PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The shockwaves from the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs continue to ripple across the United States, including in Portland.

The shooting at the LGBTQ club late Saturday night killed 5 people and injured at least 25. Hate crime charges are now being pursued against the alleged shooter.

Sunday was Trans Remembrance Day, meant to memorialize transgender people who have been murdered or attacked because of who they are. The Denver Post reports one of those killed in Colorado Springs was Daniel Aston, a trans man who worked at Club Q.

Several people in the LGBTQ community in Portland and Colorado told KOIN 6 News this is a pain being felt by so many people who are queer or questioning.

Those kinds of bars and clubs can serve as refuges for people who are not fully out with their sexuality or sexual identity, providing a place where they can feel safe.

‘Sense of safety is lost’

An attack like this is a grim reminder of the hate and discrimination that the queer community has faced for decades.

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“Talking about resiliency, it’s important to remember that our community has faced and overcome a greater number of challenges,” said Blair Stenvick of Basic Rights Oregon. “A physical space can be attacked but you can’t attack the wider sense of community and resilience that LGBTQ folks have.”

The Sports Bra in Portland held a vigil Sunday night to remember those who died in the Colorado Springs shooting.

Crush Bar in Portland cuts from the same queer cloth.

Nick St. Pierre of Crush Bar in Portland, November 21, 2022 (KOIN)
Nick St. Pierre of Crush Bar in Portland, November 21, 2022 (KOIN)

“You always want to make sure you’re in a space that you feel included and feel safe and comfortable to be authentically who you are,” said Nick St. Pierre, who described Crush as “a neighborhood gay bar.”

The shooting in Colorado resonated “because this is your community,” he said. “I want to feel safe. I want my neighbors, guests, my friends to feel safe.”

Debra Porta, the executive director of Pride Northwest, said this attack is no different than being assaulted in your own home.

“That sense of safety is lost, hopefully not forever, but it’s lost because you’re in your home and someone has come in and harmed you in your own space,” she said.

Porta said it is more crucial in a place like Colorado Springs, where Club Q was one of just two spaces dedicated for people who are queer or questioning.

Debra Porta, the executive director of Pride Northwest, November 21, 2022 (KOIN)
Debra Porta, the executive director of Pride Northwest, November 21, 2022 (KOIN)

“Those gathering spaces allow folks to come together and be safe and be in each other’s company in a world where they don’t get to do that, really.”

St. Pierre said, “We need people to know we are not afraid. We are going to bound together. We are going to get through this together as a community.”

Crush Bar is planning a candlelight vigil for 8 p.m. Wednesday. They are also working to establish a fundraiser for the families of the victims.