Nashville LGBTQ bar customers concerned following mass shooting in Colorado

Following the Colorado nightclub shooting, here in Nashville, WSMV spoke to people attending LGBTQ bars and nightclubs Sunday night, now with some hesitation.
Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 10:59 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:42 AM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - After a shooting that left five dead and injured more than 25 people in Colorado Springs, people across the country who attend LGBTQ+ bars and nightclubs are now going with hesitation.

While some would consider an LGBTQ+ nightclub their safe space, the recent shooting is making some rethink that.

“It’s always tragic. It’s always awful,” said Raisa Fletcher, a Nashville LGBTQ bar customer, in response to the most recent shooting Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs.

“It’s a little more personal this time, seeing as it involves a community I am a part of,” Fletcher said.

In Colorado Springs, a 22-year-old man walked into the club around midnight and started shooting. The gunman killed 5 and injured at least 25 others.

“We have these spaces because they were safe spaces when it was dangerous just to be queer like it’s not now apparently,” Fletcher said.

Colorado Springs Police said they are working to determine if the shooting is a hate crime, but LGBTQ bar night customers in Nashville, like Fletcher said it’s a thought lingering in the back of their minds.

“I think it would be great if we could, I guess, add security to ward off things of this nature,” Fletcher said. “I’ve been to events where they check bags and things like that.”

But for Fletcher, it is more than just adding security. Fletcher believes it’s a political battle that will be fought for a while people lose their lives.

“The biggest thing would be to just change gun laws and I know I’m probably just speaking to a wall at this point because we’ve said it time and time again in this country over the last decade. But the only real way to make a huge difference, in my opinion, is to make guns more difficult to get,” said Fletcher. “I feel like it drains our humanity every single time it happens.”

While Fletcher waits and prays for a solution, she said she is stepping out to show strength.

“I want to show up for my community and not let fear stop me,” Fletcher said. “That’s kind of why we exist and why we have these spaces.”

When asked about plans to provide better security, several Nashville bar owners declined to comment.

In addition, Nashville Mayor John Cooper gave a statement on the shooting: