Bartender at local gay bar reacts to mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs

Bars and clubs like the Blue Moon are safe spaces in the LGBTQ+ community, but after Saturday’s attack in Colorado Springs, those who work and patronize them shared that they don’t feel as safe anymore.

“My first thought is, are we going to be safe?” said Alistair McQueen, a bartender at a local gay bar.

Alistair McQueen has bartended at the Blue Moon — a gay bar in Lawrenceville — for the past seven years but said since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, attacks have become more frequent.

“Sending in threats saying that they are going to come to burn down the bar and shoot up the place,” explained McQueen.

McQueen, who calls the Blue Moon a second home, said he wants queer spaces and people to feel protected.

“Just recently over the last couple of months, we did take part in the active shooter drill just to be prepared,” McQueen said.

He said what happened in Colorado Springs over the weekend — when an armed shooter entered Club Q, a gay nightclub, and killed 5 people — wasn’t just an attack on that establishment but an attack on the entire LGBTQ+ community.

“It is [the Blue Moon] a safe space for queer people to feel comfortable, so we need that,” McQueen said.

McQueen’s message was simple when we asked what he wants people to do in response to these ongoing hate crimes.

“Chill out,” he said jokingly. But he added, “I just wish these people would have more love in their hearts and compassion and understanding for our community.”

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