In the wake of the shooting at the LGBTQ+ bar Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, writer and podcaster Dan Savage spoke out to shine light on the subtext of the tragedy.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Savage described what a massacre at a supposed safe space for queer people actually means.
Savage added what queer people and allies must do in response.
Savage began by pointing out what anti-LGBTQ+ people actually want—for queer people to keep their lives and identities out of public view.
"People who hate queer people want us to keep it private. Behind closed doors. Someplace they don't have to see it."
Savage added queer bars provide a necessary space for queer people to be together safely.
"And the doors of a gay bar are doors we keep it behind. A place we can go and be together and not bother *them* with the fact of our existence."
But queer bars provide far more than mere safety.
They provide a place for queer people to forget that this hatred exists.
As Savage described it:
"But behind those doors we can forget — we can suspend our disbelief — and pretend the haters don't exist. Just for a few hours."
The attack at Club Q—like the 2016 Pulse shooting before it—serve as reminders from anti-LGBTQ+ bigots of what they truly want.
For queer people to simply not exist.
Citing a rallying cry from the 1969 Stonewall Riots—a trans-led rebellion that spawned the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement—Savage called upon queer people to use Club Q as an incitement to action.
"So, if we're not safe in there... behind closed doors... where they say they want us... we have no choice but to fight to make it safe everywhere, for all LGBT people."
"'Out of the bars and into the streets!'"
Savage then positioned the ways in which queer people fought back inside Club Q on Saturday night as part of a long history of queer resistance.
He finished his thread with a call to action and a commitment to "fight until we're safe everywhere."
Many on Twitter found Savage's thread inspiring.
Five people died and at least 25 more were injured in the Club Q shooting.
The alleged shooter is currently hospitalized and in custody.