LGBTQ communities are still reeling from the mass shooting in Colorado Springs at Club Q that took the lives of five people and injured 18 others. Those lost and affected, as well as the patrons that subdued the shooter, have been celebrated as the shooter potentially faces multiple murder and hate crime charges.
At the same time, LGBTQ people have rallied around the incident that occurred just hours before a Transgender Day of Remembrance drag brunch was scheduled to occur at the nightclub.
Part of those efforts came from the world of pro wrestling, where multiple promotions offered moments of reverence and support in the wake of the mass shooting.
Queer-owned pro wrestling promotion Uncanny Attractions opened its “Drags & Dropkicks” event in Austin, Texas, Sunday evening with all of the wrestlers — including multiple trans and gender-diverse performers — enveloping the ring as the company observed a moment of silence and ten-bell salute to those killed and injured at Club Q.
“It is not lost to us what happened last night in Colorado,” ring announcer Brittani Houghtlen said before kicking off the night with a drag performance from Jakarta Rimes. “We are going to celebrate the life that was taken from them. We are going to celebrate the life of every single person here.”
About today pic.twitter.com/SZ3hmiOg4a— UNCANNY ATX (@uncannyatx) November 20, 2022
The company also dedicated the show, its first in over two years, to “those whose souls were too big for this world, to those who paid a price for simply existing, to those who fought for the ability for us to put on a show like ‘Drags & Dropkicks’ in a state like Texas, and to those who are still fighting today.”
Trans wrestler Edith Surreal donned a “Protect Trans Kids” shirt as she entered the ring to take on Kilynn King, and gender-diverse wrestlers Sonny Kiss and Billy Dixon met in the show’s main event.
The GoFundMe campaign for the families and survivors of the Club Q shooting was promoted by multiple pro wrestling companies, including queer-owned promotion Pro Wrestling VIBE.
Denver-based promotion Lucha Libre & Laughs (LLL) announced that it will donate all profits from its upcoming “Pod Six Was Jerks” event on Friday to the GoFundMe campaign. Multiple LGBTQ pro wrestlers are scheduled for the event, including trans performers Dark Sheik, Max The Impaler and Edith Surreal, who also reigns as LLL’s Women’s champion.
Thank you,— sheikah (@darksheikftf) November 22, 2022
this weekends event is important to me in ways I can feel in my bones but can't put into words.
But I'm right there with you. https://t.co/CF1jb4rLIC
Perhaps the most powerful evidence of what the presence of these three wrestlers at Friday’s LLL event represents came in the form of a tweet from a trans LLL fan.
“After everything that has happened this weekend, what’s really keeping me going is getting to see idols of mine on Friday. Dark Sheik, Edith Surreal and Max The Impaler,” they wrote. “I can’t promise I won’t cry. You are so fucking important, and you help make folks like me feel important too.”