COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The owners of Club Q are vowing to reopen to serve the LQBTQ community in Colorado Springs, despite the tragedy that took place at the gay nightclub two weeks ago.
On a chilly Saturday afternoon outside of Club Q, people continue to visit the memorial and leave signs of support after the mass shooting that took the lives of five people and wounded 17 others the night of Nov. 19.
“I'm here almost every day. Well, actually multiple times a day," said Matthew Haynes, the founding owner of Club Q. “There are hundreds of people who come by every single day, and what they write and what they leave here, it really, it fills you with hope. It helps heal. For the few minutes of hate, there's what I would like to think, is a lifetime of love.”
Haynes said Club Q was purchased 20 years ago, and transformed into a vibrant place of love. He said the nightclub still has a future in Colorado Springs, despite the tragedy. What that future exactly looks like is still being determined.
“There's a story, and that story hasn't ended yet," Haynes said. “We want to figure out how to tell that story within this space as well. So, we've got a tall order. And it's going to take a lot of stakeholders coming together and giving opinions, but what we want to do is we want to do it right.”
Haynes said he knows two things for certain about the future of Club Q: the building will not be demolished, and they will continue to serve the LGBTQ community in some fashion.
"[We will] continue what club Q has done for 20 years. There are still people that are being kicked out of their families. There are people that still are struggling, as they're coming out for whoever they are. And this has always provided a safe place for that," Haynes said. “It's very important to me and the community that there's an appropriate memorial here celebrating the lives of those that were lost. Not a somber place, but a place that celebrates what they were doing in here. They were celebrating life."
"There's still a place for Club Q," he said.
Michael Anderson was working behind the bar at Club Q on the night of the shooting. He worked closely with two of the victims, Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston.
“I'm not going to let this unacceptable act of violence take away my title and my position here at this specific location. I am a bartender here and I love my job. And we'll see what the future looks like," Anderson said. “It's not a building or walls that make a space. It's the people who fill it. And the people who fill it that are still here with us, we will continue to bring that positive and prideful spirit forward.”
The money raised through GoFundMe will be used to support the Club Q staff while they are currently out of work. The money will also fund the remodeling of Club Q and the construction of a memorial for the victims of the shooting. The fundraiser writes that the "goal is to return Club Q as a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community."
More than $12,000 has been raised as of Sunday morning.