Club Q, the Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ bar where a deadly shooting occurred last November, has announced its intention to re-open next fall.
The reopening will include “enhanced security measures” – designed with input by local, state, and federal agencies – and a permanent memorial to the five individuals slain in the shooting, the bar wrote a public statement posted to the Club Q Instagram page. The bar said it hopes these security measures will help set a new standard for queer bars across the country.
Concept images for the redesign will be publicly unveiled in the next four to six weeks, and the renovations will begin in April, the bar wrote.
The bar also said it has hired two injured survivors of the shooting as staff and will add an additional administrative staff role to assist with rebuilding efforts, community relations, and more. Additionally, the bar will continue to work with crowdfunding campaigns — including the Colorado Healing Fund and the Compassion Fund — to financially support shooting victims and aid former bar staff and performers while the venue remains closed.
“It has been two decades now that we have kept the doors open as a place where everyone, regardless of gender identity or who they love, had somewhere to belong,” founding Club Q owner Matthew Haynes wrote. “To everyone who has asked me to reopen the club, I assure you we are working very hard to bring our home back. We look forward to being able to gather as one community again.”
On November 19, the alleged shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, killed five and injured 18 others. Aldrich (who allegedly uses they/them pronouns) was stopped by a straight military veteran who pistol-whipped them while another person stomped on them with high heels shoes. Aldrich allegedly had a violent past and used anti-gay slurs before the shooting. They now face over 317 criminal charges.
In the week following the shooting, President Joe Biden sent a letter to the club’s owners offering sympathy. Colorado’s out gay Gov. Jared Polis (D) visited the club and pledged to update a law that could have kept Aldrich from getting a gun.
The club’s owner also appeared in front of Congress to read anti-LGBTQ+ hate mail that he received after the shooting. The Department of Homeland Security warned about possible “copycat attacks” as users of far-right web forums celebrated the shooting.
Anti-LGBTQ+ right-wing media figures like Tucker Carlson, Matt Walsh, Steven Crowder, and others alternately denied responsibility for fomenting hatred against queer people and said that LGBTQ+ people caused the shooting by allegedly supporting non-existent “child genital mutilation.”
Despite this, survivors of the shooting say they feel hope for the community.
“Being shot, being a victim of this whole thing — it left me with a sense of more hope than anything else, especially with everyone coming together,” survivor James Slaugh said. “This is not a time to be afraid. This is not a time to let in one awful person. This is a time to come together.”