Accident – Death – Obituary News : Commemorating the anniversary of the Club Q shooting and the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, members of the Colorado Springs community gathered at Acacia Park on Monday to honor the lives of two transgender individuals who were tragically killed in the shooting one year ago. Despite the cold weather, several dozen people showed up in coats and rain jackets to pay their respects to Daniel Davis Aston and Kelly Loving, who were among the five lives lost in the incident that also left over a dozen people injured on November 19, 2022.
Wyatt Kent, Aston’s fiancée, who was also injured in the shooting, expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support shown by the community, viewing it as a display of strength and resilience. Family members and friends of Aston and Loving spoke at the event, praising their loved ones for their kindness and generous spirits. Jeff Aston, Daniel’s father, described his son as a wonderful and good-hearted person.
The gathering, organized by Bread and Roses Legal Center and Community Health Partnership, highlighted the selflessness of Kelly Loving, who consistently went above and beyond to help others. Z Williams from Bread and Roses Legal Center emphasized her dedication to supporting those in need.
While the event was mainly focused on remembering the victims, speakers and attendees also expressed frustration with the ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs. Carlee Bradley, a transgender individual in attendance, stressed the need for improved mental health services in the community, especially for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Some community members expressed appreciation for the unity demonstrated over the past year but called for more action from local officials. Attendee Finn voiced a desire for the city to be more vocal and inclusive in remembering the victims throughout the year, rather than just in specific areas or during certain events.
Despite the absence of protesters at the event, volunteers from the nonprofit Parasol Patrol were present with rainbow-colored umbrellas, ready to shield the memorial in case of any disruptions. One volunteer highlighted the positive shift in the city, noting that in the past, protests would have been more prevalent.
District 16 State House Representative Stephanie Vigil, El Paso County’s first openly queer representative, delivered a speech at the event, expressing hope that the government would support and protect those who have been targeted in the past through legislative measures.
Stoney Roberts, a local artist and director of the Prism Community Collective site, passionately expressed his anger and fear stemming from last year’s tragedy. He urged members of the LGBTQ+ community to support and stand up for each other, questioning why trans individuals are often only honored after their passing instead of celebrated during their lives.
The commemoration event provided a space for the community to come together, remember the lives lost, and address ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs. It served as a reminder of the importance of unity, support, and advocacy for a more inclusive and accepting society..