COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — While investigators haven’t said what the motive could have been in the Club Q shooting, the suspect was arrested for five counts of bias-motivated crimes.

Members of the LGBTQ community blame homophobic and transphobic rhetoric for fueling the violence. The Deputy Director of One Colorado Garrett Royer said this act of hate happening at the only gay bar in Colorado Springs and just moments before Transgender Remembrance Day is only heightening fear that connects to anti-gay rhetoric.

According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism in Denver, 33 out of 65 hate crimes this year through September were anti-gay and two were anti-trans.

Advocates like Royer point to anti-LGBTQ statements and social media messages as part of the problem.

“I really do think that those kinds of thoughts, that rhetoric has an impact and very well could have led to the actions of the individual who attacked Club Q the other night.”

As recently as 2020, several conservative legislators pushed a bill seeking to end same-sex marriage and prevent same-sex couples from adopting children. Representative Lauren Boebert, has spoken out against the LGBTQ community in a since-deleted tweet from June saying “take your children to church not drag bars.”

“Those same folks who have claimed that LGBTQ people are wrong or evil or immoral for existing are the same ones who yesterday were tweeting out you know thoughts and prayers go out to the community and I think there needs to be accountability,” Royer said

“Obviously, we are an organization that believes very deeply in freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean you have freedom of consequence from your words. Especially when those words are device and harmful and disrespectful to those who are just trying to live their lives.”

That accountability is needed from this community, to drive away this intolerance, Royer said.

“We’re not going back in the closet, LGBTQ people are not going away and our community is resilient, LGBTQ folks are strong.”

For those who are victims or need victim resources, you can contact One Colorado via email at gillianf@one-colorado.org or tmorrison@glaad.org. Those wishing to donate to victims of the shooting may do so at the Colorado Healing Fund.