Kent State’s candlelight vigil in support of Club Q

Maggie Harris, Reporter

Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump and Ashley Paugh. These are the victims who lost their lives during the Club Q shooting.

Friday night, members from the Kent community stood together to honor and remember the victims of the Colorado Springs shooting that took place Nov. 19. The LGBTQ+ Center, Student Affairs and Undergraduate Student Government held a candlelight vigil to grieve the victims from Club Q.

The Kent community joined together with lit candles while speakers encouraged community support.

“It’s incredibly important for us to recognize our community and the ways in which we show up for each other,” said Lo Dunmon, the assistant director of the LGBTQ+ center.

The attendees joined together in solidarity at Risman Plaza.

“The best path for acts of violence and threats to our safety is reliance on one another. If there’s one promise that I can always keep to my friends and my family, my loved ones in my community, it’s that I may not experience what they’re going through but I’m not gonna let them go through it alone,” Dunmon said.

From adults to young children, the attendees of the candlelight vigil were united as one to remember the five victims who lost their lives and the 17 victims who were injured.

Along with honoring the victims from Club Q, a speaker at the vigil revealed some alarming quotes made by the shooter’s father.

“After finding out what atrocities his 22 year old son committed, the shooter’s father made some disturbing comments. He stated, “And then I go to find out, its a gay bar. I said, ‘God is he gay?’ I got scared, ‘Shit, is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, phew.’” Jessie Starkey, the director of governmental affairs for USG, said.

The father of the shooter, MMA fighter Aaron Brink, stated that being gay does not reflect his religious or political views, according to CBS News.

“Hatred is taught and educating oneself and those around you is the only way to undo it,” said Starkey.

Safety is a concern for the LGBTQ+ community after the Club Q shooting and many more instances of queer violence.

“We must prioritize the safety and prosperity of all individuals in our society, especially marginalized communities,” said Starkey.

Coming together on Risman Plaza shows Kent State’s support for LGBTQ+ students. The speakers offered resources for those who feel unsafe or for those who need people to talk to.

Maggie Harris is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]