Utah Pride Center hosts vigil to honor Colorado Springs shooting victims
Nov 21, 2022, 10:50 PM | Updated: May 21, 2023, 4:30 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — The LGBTQ community in Salt Lake City gathered Monday night to honor the five people who died in the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs over the weekend.
The evening was also a chance for those in the community and allies to share raw thoughts and emotions in the wake of the violent attack.
Dozens of people stood outside the back of the Utah Pride Center Monday night, holding candles and standing in a moment of silence.
Tears rolled down cheeks as Jonathan Foulk, co-CEO of Utah Pride Center, then read the five names aloud.
“Their lives were lost too soon,” he began. “Ashley Paugh, Kelly Loving, Raymond Green Vance, Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump.”
The Utah Pride Center then turned the vigil over to all the participants, inviting people to say what was on their minds to the whole crowd. Some talked about feeling anger and fear, and others expressed the desire to stand up and share love.
Salt Lake City resident Izzy emotionally shared how the shooting is a terrible reminder that they need to keep each other safe. In an interview with KSL TV, Izzy talked about how bars and clubs like Club Q are often where many queer people find community. It’s in those spaces, Izzy said, that friends grow into the family that they get to choose for themselves.
“Whenever these spaces ever are under attack… constantly, increasingly — it’s really important that we’re all here together, showing that we’re still here for each other,” they said.
Before the vigil, people spent an hour talking with each other inside the Utah Pride Center. Foulk said the center wanted to bring the community together to check in with each other and chat.
“My message to everyone out there is that you’re not alone and that you’re loved,” he said. “Because life is too short, and you have to reach out to those that you care about and love.”
Foulk said he has been feeling heartbreak, pain, sadness and anger since the shooting.
Addressing the crowd at the vigil, he said as disgusting and tragic as the shooting was, it brought everyone together.
“Look at us all, we’re all together. You’re all a heartbeat in this community,” he said, looking around. “We will fight. We will not give up. We will not let anyone take us.”
Happening now: @utahpridecenter hosting vigil to honor the memory of 5 victims killed in the Club Q shooting in #ColoradoSprings. People are gathering as they find a safe space to mourn. #ColoradoSpringsStrong pic.twitter.com/qn3ISZpPkS
— Lauren Steinbrecher (@LaurenSnews) November 22, 2022
Alex del Rosario came to the vigil with their partner and partner’s children. Del Rosario is from Denver and happened to be visiting their partner in Salt Lake City when the shooting took place close to their hometown.
“I’m not in Colorado with my community,” del Rosario said. “I still wanted to find space and be with community, be with folks who share this identity, this experience, and stand up in solidarity.”
They are the national organizer for the National Center for Transgender Equality. Del Rosario said it was really moving and healing to attend the vigil, and that it’s what everyone needs and wants right now.
“Today we will mourn and be a community and tomorrow we will continue to work,” they said. “I’m looking forward to just holding space for folks today and then having conversations on what we can do to prevent this from happening again.”