Colorado nightclub shooting: Local LGBTQ+ community reacts to the deadly shooting

Members of Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community are questioning their safety after the brutal killing of five people inside a gay bar in Colorado Springs over the weekend.

Tony Enos, a South Philadelphia musician, taped a sign to a wall near the city’s best-known gar bar, Woody’s. The sign was dedicated to those who simply wanted to dance, but unfortunately had to live through a nightmare after a 22-year-old gunman opened fire inside Club Q. Enos says he has fond memories at Woody’s as he remembers it being a safe place to gather and dance as a younger man just coming out.

"I just woke up with so much sadness in my heart this morning and couldn’t figure out what to do. I feel this is better than doing nothing, and it’s a way to remember the people we lost in our community," said Enos. 

RELATED: Colorado nightclub shooting: Philadelphia transgender community reacts to shooting with grief, fear

At the Community College of Philadelphia, a flag was raised to mark those who lost their lives to anti-trans violence. Kendall Stephens, a local activist, spoke to a small group gathered and recalled her beating at the hands of what she called "transphobes" in Point Breeze two years ago.  

‘’A group of transphobes busted into my home and beat me within an inch of my life in front of my underage god-daughters," said Stephens. When FOX 29's Jeff Cole asked why they would do this, Stephens said, "Because they could. They’re hateful.’’

An LGBTQ+ human rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign, reports 300 non-gender conforming people have been slain in the last decade, including 32 this year. Stephens says the only way to deal with these violent crimes against the LGBTQ+ community is to knock out hate. 

"It's time for us to thrive. It can only happen if we knock out hate," Stephens said. 


About a block away from Woody's, Dylan Barallobre, a Florida native, sat down waiting for breakfast as he reflected on the traumatic memories from the mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Orlando back in 2016. 

Barallobre says he was a teenager who had just come out when the slaughter at The Pulse happened, killing 49. While he says he feels safe within the Gayborhood, he still fears hate could overpower love. 

‘‘Right now, we’re in the Gayborhood, and it feels safe, but you never know who’s walking around," he said.

Philadelphia police say they have increased patrols throughout the Gayborhood while activists' voices are going coarse as they demand people to come together and stomp out hate.