MILWAUKEE — Members of Milwaukee's LGBTQ community came together on Tuesday night with shared grief after the shooting at Club Q in Colorado springs over the weekend.
The violent attack on the gay club left five people dead: Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Derrick Rump, and Raymond Green Vance. Their pictures were on display at the Milwaukee ceremony.
"When I look at those pictures, I feel sad. I feel like, how senseless is this? And I also just feel heartbroken for their loved ones, their family, the people that were there that witnessed," said K.B. with Courage MKE.
K.B. said that any of those people could have been their friends. That's why more than 1,000 miles away from Colorado Springs, K.B. is grieving yet another attack on the LGBTQ community.
"It hits home because all of us do exactly what the queer folks were doing there all the time. We go to our safe spaces, the clubs, the bars to be together, to see our loved ones, to be in a safe space. We're no different than them. They just happen to be there and we happen to be here," K.B. said.
According to the UCLA Williams Institute, LGBT people are four times as likely as non-LGBT people to be victims of violent crimes.
Still, Courage MKE Board President Robin Matchett-Schmidt said the attack in Colorado is hard to even comprehend. Especially when the community was grieving the Pulse shooting in Orlando just eight years ago.
"We wanna go out, we wanna have fun, we wanna dance, just dance and not worry about being hurt," Matchett-Schmidt said.
K.B. and Robin organized the vigil here in Milwaukee, calling on other LGBT resources and leaders to join them in a show of solidarity.
"We have so many resources in Milwaukee... the gay community in Milwaukee is really big," Matchett-Schmidt said.
And as people lit their candles and paid their respects, K.B. hoped it was also a step toward healing.
"My hope for tonight is that people can come and be healed and feel connected and that people (walk) away with a sense that we have a strong queer community here in Milwaukee and here in Wisconsin in general," K.B. said.
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