November 23, 2022

Outpouring of support for Club Q family as the Colorado Springs community gathers today at City Hall

(Colorado Springs, CO - November 23, 2022) – Today local leaders from the Colorado Springs City Council and Inside Out Youth Services held a ceremony at Colorado Springs City Hall to raise Section 93 of the Sea to Sea Flag, a 25-foot historic Pride flag, following the mass shooting at Club Q on Saturday evening, which killed five people and injured nearly 20 others. Community members who were at or impacted by Club Q were in attendance.

Videos of the historic flag ceremony here:, 

CO State Rep. Leslie Herod:

Club Q Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes:

Crowd outside of City Hall:

Other speakers in attendance included Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes, co-owners of Club Q; Colorado State Senator Pete Lee; Colorado State Representative-elect Steph Vigil, Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod; and Ares Mars, a local queer and transgender poet and activist, studying to become a teacher in order to support and increase acceptance for queer youth in schools.

Since Sunday, GLAAD has been on the ground in Colorado Springs with the Club Q family, survivors of the shooting, and local community advocates to help tell their stories and provide support on media requests.

At today’s ceremony Nancy Henjum, City Council Representative for District 5 where the attack took place, said:

"What does the future look like for Colorado Springs and especially for the LGBTQ+ community? There is so much love and support for you here today. We MUST continue that for the days, weeks, years, and lifetimes to come - especially for queer people of color and for transgender people. We heard from many of you yesterday in this very building that you don’t feel safe, you don’t feel respected - that we must do better. Yes – we MUST do better. We WILL do better. And we will start with our display of support by unfurling this flag on our historic 1904 building."

Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod, the first gay Black woman to be elected to Coloradoo’s legislature, said in her remarks:

“As I see this flag above me, what I remember is the many times that this building chose to deny the existence of LGBTQ people; that elected officials representing YOU said you don’t deserve to be here and don’t deserve to exist, and that our trans youth deserve to be discriminated against or erased out of our schools and our history books, and that is wrong. And it takes a tragedy like this – a tragedy like this to have an LGBTQ rainbow flag in this building, it’s wrong – it’s wrong. … As we mourn and as we are in pain, we also want to celebrate the beautiful people of Colorado Springs that care and love for one another.”

"The LGBTQ community here in Colorado Springs is a tight-knit family that supports each other and comes together no matter how difficult the situation," said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's Chief Communications Officer, who is in Colorado Springs. "The Club Q family is beautiful, diverse, and resilient during an unspeakable time of grief and loss. Still, the outpouring of support from LGBTQ people and allies around the world through our donations of time, money, resources and well wishes continues to be urgent and much-needed over the longer term.”

The flag hanging over city hall today, known as Section 93 of the Sea to Sea Flag, is on loan to Colorado Springs from the Sacred Cloth Project as a gesture of love, solidarity and healing in the wake of the Club Q shootings in which five people were killed and 18 were injured. It was previously on public view after the shooting at Pulse nightclub, an LGBTQ venue in Orlando; at the Supreme Court for the 2015 victory for marriage equality; and during significant occasions in support of the LGBTQ community in other parts of the world.

The flag measures 14 by 25 feet and is one section of the historic Rainbow25 flag sewn together by Gilbert Baker in Key West, Fla., in 2003 to create a 1.25 mile long flag in the original eight colors (versus the six colors that became more common). That flag marked the 25th anniversary of the 1978 flag originally created by Baker. The Sea to Sea Flag was later cut into sections, and Section 93 is preserved as the Sacred Cloth. It has traveled the globe to be displayed at celebrations, occasions of mourning, and historic moments. Section 93 was displayed in downtown Orlando in June 2016 following the deadly Pulse nightclub shootings and has returned to Orlando each year on the anniversary of the tragedy.

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