The shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs is sending shockwaves through LGBTQ+ communities across the country, and is bringing some safety concerns to groups in Texas.
Mallori Girard is the bar manager at Halo in Bryan, an LGBTQ+-friendly nightclub. She said when she heard of Saturday's shooting, she was terrified.
"We say that we are a safe space for everyone, not just the LGBTQ+ community," Girard said. "And it really makes you think about...what am I doing as a manager to ensure that this remains a safe space?"
She explained that she has had many conversations with her staff about safety and emergency preparedness recently, encouraging them to keep close attention for anything suspicious and to intervene before problems escalate.
The CEO of LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, said on Monday emphasized the importance of gathering and supporting each other, but also warned that gay bars and spaces have been disappearing since the pandemic.
"We're survivors and we're thrivers, so as a community, we always come together and we lift each other up," Ellis said.
Waco Pride Network also spoke out after Saturday's shooting.
"There are no words to properly express the emotions we are all going through. Know that your feelings are valid. We will keep going," the group wrote on its Facebook page.
Girard said while the community may be fearful after this weekend's attack, visibility and understanding are critical right now.
"We show people that we have so much to give to this community and this world, and that's what we will continue to do despite tragedies like this," she said. I mean it's really what we have to do."