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Sunday, November 20, 2022


by Peter Witt

A vigil was held at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. Credit: Daniel Brenner for The New York Times, November 20, 2022

Patrons Subdued Gunman Who Killed at Least 5 at Colorado Club: The authorities credited people inside the gay nightclub in Colorado Springs with stopping the gunman, who police say opened fire with a long rifle just before midnight. More than two dozen were injured.  —The New York Times, November 20, 2022

Club Q, a supposed safe space
where people can let their hair down
or wig it up, where go-go dancers
and drag queens rule, where bartenders
in scanty attired serve tame and not
so tame drinks to similarly minded
customers, a place rife for hate
by people threatened by the idea of
individuality, where people
go to hang out, to feel secure,
without the fear of physical harm,
where in an instant, all changed
when harm walked through the door.
Now Sunday festivities are off,
no planned drag brunch, with drink specials
and drag show followed by an evening
Transgender Day of Remembrance
for all those killed or attacked in the U.S.
and around the world…an irony considering
Saturday’s murderous events.
Instead, sometime in the days ahead,
the LGBTQA+ community and their supporters
will gather to add the names of all the victims
of a wanton shooter in Colorado Springs.
Some politicians will tweet and send notes
of support, while some will remain silent
and in the days ahead whip up more fear
and loathing with statements about
the biblical repulsiveness of gay marriage,
how drag queens are polluting the minds
of young children during library readings,
and books about LGBTQA+ identity
should be removed from school libraries.
On Thursday Club Q planned a Friendsgiving
Dinner, which if held, will turn into
an evening of tears, stories, and hugs
to celebrate those lost and wounded.

Peter Witt is a Texas poet, a frequent contributor to The New Verse News and other online poetry web-based publications.