Local LGBTQ community mourns Colorado shooting victims

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Colorado Springs shooting is another senseless act that has struck a nerve with people across the country on a day known as the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Some in our local LGBTQ community say they’ll mourn the victims as they would family members.

KOB 4 spent time with a local leader in the LGBTQ community Sunday, at the Albuquerque Social Club, a place that’s considered a safe haven — where people don’t have to hide their true selves.

“Our queer bars are our home, this is where we find our family. You know, we get to dance, love, cry, all of it probably in one night, in spaces where we don’t have to hide who we are,” said Frankie Flores, director of UNM LGBTQ Resource Center.

Flores has a day job as the director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at UNM, where they help with 3,000 visits from students, staff, and faculty every year. But on the weekends, they come home.

“Coming in these doors my shoulders dropped. You know I was able to really breathe for the first time today,” said Flores.

A deadly shooting on UNM’s campus, paired with the killings at Club Q, had them craving the comfort of this safe space.

“It doesn’t just hit close to home it is home,” Flores said. “It is hard to think about that people were going to enjoy themselves, to feel free, to feel liberated, and that sense of safety was taken from them.”

The victims who they consider family.

“One of the phrases we use so much among trans and queer people is family, and so it has been an attack on our family,” Flores said

He says they’ve been through this type of tragedy before, and just like the others, their community will grow stronger because of it.

“I think the way we memorialize those who were taken from us is we sit in community, we dance, we love we cry, and we don’t let this defeat us,” Flores said. “I look forward to dancing with my siblings and loving with them and laughing with them and crying with them– all of it.”