Last Saturday, a 22-year-old gunman opened fire on Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. He killed five people and injured 25 more.
The gunman was confronted by club patrons, who restrained him and halted furth violence.
While authorities in Colorado Springs are still investigating the motive for the attack, the shooting coincides with an increase in threats against LGBTQ people, stoked by far right-wing media figures and platforms.
The New York Times reported that events featuring drag performers — like storytime at libraries and drag brunches — have faced threats for years, but recently have become more frequent.
The massacre happened on the eve of Trans Day of Remembrance, which Club Q planned on commemorating with a drag brunch the next day.
The shockwaves from the shooting have radiated far outside of Colorado Springs, stoking fear in LGBTQ people and event organizers nationwide, including in Chicago.
“When one of our spaces are threatened we, to a certain degree, all feel threatened,” said Kristen Kaza, who produces Slo’mo — a long-standing LGBTQ party.
To listen to our full conversation about the impact on the nightclub shooting on Chicago’s queer community, hit the red play button at the top of the page.
Claire Hyman is a digital engagement producer at WBEZ. Follow her @hyimclaire.