Club Q shooting suspect claiming to be non-binary is ‘troll on LGBTQ+ community’, says ex-friend

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The use of they/them pronouns by the alleged Colorado Springs shooter is being questioned.

Anderson Lee Aldrich is facing 305 charges in relation to the deaths of five people at LGBTQ+ venue Club Q on 19 November.

According to court documents, Aldrich is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.

However, in court last week, Aldrich’s attorney used he/him pronouns.

Their father also used he/him pronouns when referring to Aldrich in a media interview where he said he was more concerned his child could be gay than a killer.

The use of they/them pronouns by Aldrich has been questioned by Xavier Kraus, a former neighbour of Aldrich, who told NBC News the pair used to be very close friends until only a few months ago.

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He alleged Aldrich claiming to be non-binary was “a total troll on the community”.

He said Aldrich had never mentioned being non-binary or used they/them pronouns with him.

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“I think it’s an insult to those people that are actually going through personal struggles with their own sexuality and their own personal identity.”

Aldrich also made homophobic comments like saying they “hate f****ts”, Kraus alleged.

Extremism experts are also calling Aldrich’s supposed non-binary identity into question.

Institute for Strategic Dialogue senior research manager Jared Holt told NBC News Aldrich’s involvement in anonymous internet forums, similar to 4chan, “points more toward the possibility that the suspect invoked non-binary pronouns as a means to get one last insult in on the LGBT community”.

Alejandra Caraballo, who is a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, said Aldrich’s alleged online presence was evidence they had likely engaged in trolling previously.

She indicated there could be negative outcomes whether Aldrich is legitimately identifying as non-binary or not.

On one hand, it could allow anti-LGBTQ+ activists to spread the idea that non-binary people are dangerous and, on the other hand, it could be used as a reason not to recognise self-identification, Caraballo told the outlet.

It was revealed last week that a previous case against Aldrich, where they allegedly made a bomb threat against family members in 2021, was dropped because their family wouldn’t cooperate.

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