- Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth
Media Contact for Commission on LGBTQ Youth's Statement of Solidarity with Club Q in Colorado
Shaplaie Brooks, Executive Director
The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth is an independent state agency that works to recommend and advocate to all branches of state government effective policies, programs, and resources to uplift and empower LGBTQ youth across the Commonwealth. Established in 1992 and codified into law in 2006, the Commission is the first and only agency of its kind in the nation tasked with protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth at the local and state level.
It is with overwhelming grief that the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth extends our condolences and solidarity to the LGBTQ communities of Colorado Springs in light of the massacre at Club Q on Saturday, November 19th, 2022. As we mourn the lives of the five community members taken from their families and loved ones, we extend our sincere wishes for recovery of those injured and in grief as a result of this tragedy. We express our love and support to our LGBTQ siblings in Colorado, in Massachusetts, and across the nation as we all grieve yet another senseless tragedy perpetrated by those who fan the flames of transphobic and homophobic violence.
Every day our youth see, hear, and feel the burden of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in the media, in their homes, and their communities. The connections between the shooting at Club Q and the vitriolic messages that bombard LGBTQ youth every day are unmistakable. From medical bans on essential gender-affirming and reproductive care to curriculum and book bans in schools to violent attacks on queer and trans people of color to violent threats against health care providers and school staff, the coordinated and systemic attacks on LGBTQ youth have never been greater, more harmful, or widespread.
The Commission implores legislators, parents, administrators, teachers, and advocates to mobilize protections for LGBTQ youth across the nation. Massachusetts is not exempt from the anti-LGBTQ violence that is sweeping the nation, and there is so much more work to be done to ensure that every single youth in the state feels empowered to live their lives free of violence, grief, and harm from racist, homophobic, and transphobic entities.
The Commission will not stop until we see every state with a dedicated LGBTQ Youth Commission, tasked to hold all agencies accountable for the gaps in policy and service provision; as well as the legislature for the gaps in protection for all people. Representation is imperative to deconstructing systemic oppression of every marginalized group. As we dismantle these systems, we leave no room for intolerance of any kind - thus making this country truly free for all.
Shaplaie Brooks (She/Her)