Colorado Mental Wellness Network shares in our collective grief this week. Our LGBTQIA+ community in Colorado Springs was profoundly wounded: 25 injured and 5 dead, as the direct result of very recognizable hate. It was a crime, and it was politically motivated.

In solidarity with this part of our larger community, who is grieving deeply, we have collected these resources where vigils, fundraising, and various aids and supports are available in Colorado Springs and Denver.

We stand in opposition to violence. We stand ready to support and uplift our communities who are hurting. We condemn any and all attempts to diminish the LGBTQIA+ community. Most importantly, we remain committed to creating a safer, more inclusive Colorado. 

There may be those for whom wellness is far from achievable right now. There are those who may struggle to withstand the pain and loss of this past weekend. We ask that you be gracious and empathetic with one another, knowing that trauma-responses may manifest as deep sadness, anger, vengeance, or even a seemingly uncontrollable rage – all of these are very normal and understandable reactions. We ask that you create containers of emotional safety in your communities, where we can allow one another the full space to express what is felt, without judgment or editing.

As the political climate indicates a likelihood of this happening again, we also strongly encourage all queer-affirming spaces to proactively protect one another by creating community care efforts of self-defense instruction, community watches, phone trees, virtual and in-person skill-share groups, mutual aid and to develop plans for responding to threats and attacks, no matter the type of venue. 

Protect yourself and your community by learning more about anti-LGBTQIA+ violence and discrimination.

Consider also putting pressure on the Rocky Mountain regional office of the Department of Justice:

1244 Speer Blvd; Suite 650; Denver, CO 80204

T: 303.844.2973; F: 303.844.2907; [email protected]

Seek out those who might struggle to reach out on their own. Check in with them and offer a few options for support or resources they might need. The only way we create safety is together, with openness and solidarity. 

Community Update

Wilder Hickney

Wilder C. Hickney has been consulting with Colorado Mental Wellness Network as a Communications Specialist since November 2021. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and Communication Studies and has previously worked as a rhetorical researcher and intern with the University of Denver. Wilder continues to offer services related to developing long-term rhetorical communication strategies to clients. With CMWN, she combines her love of language and her lived experience to create promotional content through various communication channels. In her free time, Wilder is a dedicated poet and dog lover.

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