IATSE Pride Committee’s Statement on the Club Q Tragedy

By now you’ve heard of the mass shooting that occurred over the weekend at Club Q in Colorado Springs, CO.  The result was 5 deaths and 25 injuries, stopped only by some courageous patrons who managed to intervene.  Tragedies happen all too often, but when it’s specifically targeted at our community, in a space where we are meant to be safe, it makes the targeted attack that much more heinous. 

We are shocked.  We are sad.  We are angry. 

When these types of atrocities are committed, we often hear that it’s not the time to be political.  That is wrong.  This is exactly the time to be political.  Certain politicians have used their platforms to sow LGBTQ+ hate and division.  They use things like bathrooms, sports and drag queens to demonize us, and tell their supporters that we are groomers and pedophiles and then act shocked when things like this happen. 

Words matter.

A group of chosen family gathered on a Saturday night for dancing, in one of the few places our community can really feel safe in a conservative town.  A space reserved for us to be ourselves.  Five of our community did not return home that night.

The Colorado Healing Fund has set up an online donation portal where funds can be designated directly to the Club Q Tragedy.  The IATSE Pride Committee, with the approval of IATSE International President Loeb, have donated $500 to the Fund.  For those who also wish to donate, their page is located here: https://www.coloradogives.org/donate/COHealingFund

In love and solidarity,

The IATSE Pride Committee

PDF Version here

Anti-Trans Bills in the United States

Sisters, Brothers and Kin

The 2021 legislative session has seen almost three dozen state legislatures in the United States pushing anti-trans legislation, with over 115 bills introduced since the beginning of the year. These bills include bans on doctors providing gender-affirming treatment, keeping trans kids from playing sports, mandating which gender a person is eligible to have on their government issued documents, and regulating what bathroom a person may use. To be clear, these bills are not addressing any real problem, but are being pushed by conservative organizations to sow fear and hate.

Most of these bills are targeting trans kids, who already face rejection from family and friends, bullying, and harassment. This causes trans kids to feel unsafe in environments where they should feel safe – in the home, at school, in the doctor’s office – simply for who they are. This only contributes to already high numbers of trans teens that report attempting suicide, with over half of trans male teens and almost 30% of trans female teens reporting attempting suicide at some point in the life.

To find out more about the multitude of anti-trans legislation and in which states they are being proposed, visit Freedom for All Americans.

Here are a few ways that you can support trans kids and their families:

Contact your state and local representatives: Call, email, or write a letter to your state and local representatives to let them know you are against any anti-trans legislation. If your state does not have anti-trans legislation being proposed, you can still contact your representatives to ask them what they are doing to support trans people and, especially, trans kids.  We’ve created a sample letter you can use as is, or edit as needed, which will automatically be sent to your governor and state legislature.

Contact your local school district: Even if you don’t have kids attending in your local school district, you can still reach out and ask what policies they have to support trans kids and to address bullying, and what training they provide to staff on being inclusive.

Speak up at your workplace: Ask if training is available on inclusivity and if your employer’s anti-discrimination policy covers LGBTQIA+ individuals.

For more information and to access further resources, you can check out these organizations that are on the front line in fighting for trans rights:

National Center for Transgender Equality

Trans Lifeline

Trans Student Educational Resources

Transgender Law Center

Canadian Trans Network

We, in the IATSE, believe that equality for all is a basic human right and we actively oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. Therefore, we must be vigilant to promote an equal and welcoming environment for all people, through our actions, attitudes, and language. Please join us in supporting our trans kin.

In Solidarity,

The IATSE Pride Committee