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Local LGBTQ-owned businesses and their allies share support for Club Q

Local LGBTQ-owned businesses and their allies share support for Club Q
Posted at 8:08 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 08:13:27-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — During a time of mourning and grieving like after Saturday night’s mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, the local LGBTQ+ community and their allies are coming together.

Many are saying it's difficult to understand why this happened in their community, but it's important now more than ever to come together.

“We will not late hate win. We will be here every weekend. With all of these performers celebrating those we've lost, those that are injured, and we will just be here in support of whatever they need,” said Bunny Bee, the owner of La Burla Bee.

La Burla Bee is the only cabaret nightclub in Colorado Springs and it’s located downtown. Many of the performers, DJ’s, and customers at La Burla Bee also went to Club Q.

“We knew many of the victims that did not survive as well as those that are in the hospital. So it's an extremely difficult time to be coming through this,” said Bunny Bee.

La Burla Bee opened in December of last year, so it’s a newer safe space in town. On Sunday after the shooting, the business also opened its doors for grief counseling and therapy dogs. Anybody who was impacted by the tragedy was and is still welcome. They also had extra security in place for those conversations.

Places like La Burla Bee and Icons are a safe haven for the growing gay and queer community in Colorado Springs, and it’s community that lost five of their own this weekend.

“We’re running the gamut of emotions, between like completely devastated, picturing the faces of people that we know, that we served here, that are no longer with us, and equally being so frustrated,” said Josh Franklin and John Wolfe, the owners of Icons.

Icons is a gay piano bar in downtown Colorado Springs. Franklin and Wolfe opened the bar in 2020 to embrace how much the LGBTQ+ community has grown. They say despite the setback in their community, they have to keep moving forward.

“I think it's more important to look at the hope, look at how far we've come, and not let this set us so far back, that we can't move forward,” said Franklin.

Icons is one of the two LGBTQ+ bars in the city. After learning about the mass shooting at Club Q, they closed the bar to make sure their guests and customers were safe. The bar was closed on Sunday, to allow time to drive and mourn. The bar re-opened on Monday.

Moving forward, as hard as it is, the community knows love is louder than hate and they will be here for one another.

“It is important that people know our love is strong, and loud, and important, and deserves to be here, and we will be louder than the hate in the world,” said Franklin.

There are still so many unanswered questions though, but they do know they need to come together.

“To be honest, we're having discussions about how can we be safer, but we don't have the answer right now. We just know that we're a safe space for the community to come grieve, and to come love,” said Bunny Bee.

Donate to help the Club Q shooting victims. This campaign is a KOAA initiative in collaboration with the Scripps Howard Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions to this campaign will be used to support those in the Colorado Springs area in partnership with Colorado Healing Fund and are tax deductible.

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