ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Friday marks two months since a shooter took the lives of five innocent clubgoers at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
As the state and nation continue to grapple with the shooting, some lawmakers are looking into solutions. Members of the LGBTQ community are weighing in on what they need going forward.
The word community members want lawmakers to focus on is safety, saying that word goes far beyond physical protection.
“Recently, with the surge of violence that we’ve seen in the community, the threats we’ve seen in the community and just listen to you all and see what more I can do. How I can be a better partner and ally to you all,” said U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat representing Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.
LGBTQ healthcare a top issue
Crow said he wanted to make an extra effort to meet with LGBTQ advocates while he is home in Colorado, following the Club Q shooting.
Affirming care for Coloradans in all parts of the state, more mental health support for LGTBQ youth and developing a more inclusive and supportive workforce were among the top issues community members wanted the congressman to work on.
Crow said he has legislation in the works that he hopes will further protect the community.
“The importance of rural care. So I have a bill that would actually expand access to healthcare professionals in rural areas. We want to make sure that we are addressing workforce and we have rural providers who can do the right thing and be open to their entire communities,” Crow said.
Crow hosted a roundtable to hear from community members at the Transgender Center of the Rockies. Their director said providing more safe places is something that needs to happen now.
“There’s a lot of needs and very few, real affirming safe places to go and people who can actually help. You know, we got to get rid of waitlists and long lines and start just prioritizing the needs of that community, because we know what happens when we don’t and we see the high homelessness rates, substance use rates and suicide rates,” director April Owen said.
Gender-affirming care in Colorado
Community members acknowledged people have been coming to Colorado as a more inclusive place to live. Lawmakers at the state Capitol are set to effort a measure to protect doctors providing gender-affirming care and the people receiving it.
“What’s starting to happen is right now, they are after people leaving the state to get care that they need. We want people to be able to get the care that they want, whether they live here in Colorado or not,” said state Rep. Brianna Titone, Colorado LGBTQ Caucus chair.
Crow said he also wants more police training in an effort to prevent hate crimes.