COLORADO SPRINGS — It's been eight weeks since Wyatt Kent has performed drag in Colorado Springs. It's also been eight weeks since the shooting at Club Q.
Kent was set to perform at the club that night last November when a gunman killed five people, including his partner Daniel Aston.
Nearly two months later, Kent is taking a big step in his healing journey, and returning to the stage to perform drag for the first time since the tragedy.
"It was something that was completely out of my control, out of anyone's control. So I'm just reminding myself that I'm safe. I was safe before and I'm still safe. Somebody just invaded my safe space," he said.
As he glues down his eyebrows and powders his face, Kent, whose stage name is Potted Plant, recalls the things that have helped him cope during this time of grief.
"I finally got back into my photography, which was a huge thing I was doing before all of this. And it took me a long time to go back and even like, look at the photographs that I had taken in the past year alone," he said. "There was a photo of Daniel in those from when we went to go pick out our pumpkins to carve."
He said he tries to appreciate the small things in life like Aston always did.
"I think after this there's been a lot more appreciation. Not because you know, you feel like you're gonna lose. But just because why not?" he said.
Kent will take the stage at Luxe Daiquiri Lounge in east Colorado Springs along with six other performers. Sparkle Lindsay, one of the organizers of the event and recovery coach with Purple Mountain Recovery, said the show will be a place for healing.
"After this shooting, I had a huge amount, a huge array of people who called more concerned about trauma," she said. "They asked for more help, they asked for more resources. Some people called in, you know, they started realizing that life is, is too short."
For Kent, a simple reminder of the safe space Club Q provided is what makes him strong.
"I'm just constantly reminding myself that I'm in a safe place and I'm around safe people," he said.
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