Mother of trans man killed in Colorado Springs shooting issues powerful plea: ‘Have a voice for us’
The mother of trans victim Daniel Aston, killed in the Colorado Springs shooting, has spoken out after the attack on Saturday (19 November), calling on lawmakers to “have a voice” for the LGBTQ+ community.
Five people were killed and at least 25 injured after a shooter, named by police as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, opened fire in Club Q, an LGBTQ+ venue in Colorado Springs.
Aston’s mother Sabrina spoke to Colorado Public Radio (CPR) shortly after the deadly shooting, claiming that he was the “happiest he had ever been” while working at Club Q.
“He was thriving and having fun and having friends. It’s just unbelievable. He had so much more life to give to us and to all to his friends and to himself,” she said.
‘The trans community are the biggest targets’
Sabrina added her son “knew he was trans when he was four”, and started transitioning shortly after graduating from college.
“I always worried about it… He’s a trans man and the trans community are really the biggest targets I can think about it right now.”
Sabrina said she and her family wanted to speak out about what happened in order to bring more “exposure and acceptance” about the trans community, with LGBTQ+ Americans targeted with several laws affecting healthcare, education, and more in the past year.
“We need to get our legislators and our people high up to have a voice for us… Those are our children, we do not care how you dress or what you identify as. It doesn’t harm anybody,” she said.
President Biden has condemned the “senseless attack” in an official statement, calling for an end to “violence against LGBTQI+ people” after the horrific shooting.
“Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing,” he wrote.
“We saw it six years ago in Orlando, when our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQI+ community in American history. We continue to see it in the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of colour. And tragically, we saw it last night in this devastating attack by a gunman wielding a long rifle at an LGBTQI+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
“Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence. Yet it happens far too often.”
The president added: “Today, yet another community in America has been torn apart by gun violence. More families left with an empty chair at the table and a hole in their lives that cannot be filled.”
Memorial events have been held in cities across the US in remembrance of the shooting victims, with hundreds attending a vigil at All Souls Unitarian Church, close to Club Q in Colorado Springs, on Sunday (20 November).
Matthew Haynes, co-owner of Club Q, said at the event: “Last night, one man went into our home and murdered five of our community.
“Club Q doesn’t have employees. Club Q doesn’t have customers. Club Q has friends and community.”
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