Nex Benedict, Rest In Power.
Hate will never win. Together, we will rise with and alongside you.
We mourn for those whose lives were taken, and our hearts are with their family and friends, those who survived the attack, and the entire Colorado community. We stand together in heartbreak with our LGBTQ+ community nationwide, whose sense of safety has been shattered yet again by this unthinkable tragedy.
This grief is not unfamiliar. This is not an isolated incident, but a snapshot of an escalating nationwide pattern of hate-based violence. When right-wing politicians across the country base their campaigns on the idea that LGBTQ+ people are a threat, promising to decimate the rights of queer and trans youth to keep our community in line – we must connect the dots. On the heels of Transgender Day of Remembrance, the fallout of these hate campaigns is all too clear.
No one should have to choose between safety and authenticity. And yet, here in Vermont, LGBTQ+ youth experience violence and the constant threat of harm daily. A continuous barrage of messages tells them they are not valued, cared for, or allowed to exist. We cannot continue to accept hate and intolerance in our schools and communities.
Now is the time for adult allies to take action. LGBTQ+ youth need to hear that they are not alone, and that the limitations of closed minds don’t define them. They need to grow up in communities where they are safe, seen, and celebrated exactly as they are.
If you have a youth in your life who is struggling with this news, please access our grief resources for suggestions on how to navigate these incredibly hard conversations.
For those who feel called to donate, a fund has been set up for the victims’ families and the survivors of the Club Q shooting. The Colorado Healing Fund is a secure way for people to directly support those affected by mass tragedies in Colorado.
As always, Outright is here to support our community. Find the latest information about our social and support programs here, or call our office at (802)865-9677.