A vigil in the village in memory of the victims of Club Q

A vigil in the village in memory of the victims of Club Q

A candlelight vigil was held at Parc de l’Espoir, located in the gay village of Montreal, to honor the five victims of the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, USA.

In a heavy atmosphere, interrupted by tears, about fifty people of all ages walked the tables on which were placed the photos of the disappeared to gather there.

The organizer of this rally and trans activist, Celeste Trianon, believes that at times like these, it is important to “give a space for members of the trans and LGBTQ2+ community to come together , share their thoughts in a healthy and safe environment, recognize and remember the lives that were lost in Colorado.”

On the night of November 19-20, during celebrations for Transgender Day of Remembrance, a 22-year-old man opened fire at the LGBTQ+ nightclub, killing five people and injuring eighteen.

To commemorate their memory, a short biography was read aloud to introduce each victim and a minute of silence was observed. The people gathered were also able to share their thoughts and emotions at the open microphone.

“It's hard to understand, it's heartbreaking,” says Carben, who came to pay tribute to the victims. “In our communities, we have so little – and less and less – spaces reserved for us. It's not just reserved for us, but safe”.

A vigil in the village in memory of the victims of Club Q

Photo: Quentin Dufranne, Metro

The dangers of transphobia and homophobia

For Celeste Trianon, this tragedy at Club Q is not the work of one person.

“This killing is not the fault of the killer, whom I will not name. It’s the fault of a system built around transphobia and homophobia, a far-right system built for the benefit of our lives, “she told the crowd to ask him together: know you know who is responsible for these murders? J.K. Rowling, Matt Walsh, Elon Musk with his Twitter, Donald Trump, Family Focus, PDF Quebec. These are collectives, organizations, people, politicians who are responsible for these murders. They will never be held responsible because there was only one murderer according to the official speech, right? That's the danger. The extreme right can hide and will never be held accountable for their actions.

The activist and recipient of the Montreal Pride Builder award therefore believes that this vigil is an opportunity to raise awareness among people “who might not understand why it is so important to the community. to come together like this and show how dangerous transphobia and homophobia can be.

I want to be very clear that the killings do not take place in isolation. They take place because of transphobia, homophobia that has been propagated by far-right media and personalities for years. Every time we repeat speeches like that, we can think that they are just words and that it can not do anything, but in the end, what happens? These are murders.

Celeste Trianon, vigil organizer and activist

Is Montreal safe?

According to many, the massacre at Club Q would have as a backdrop the resurgence of acts of persecution against the trans community observed in the United States.

This sad trend worries Carben, who does not say he is really surprised. In recent years, they have observed the intensification of hate speech in the public sphere and notes the lack of education against homophobia and transphobia. According to them, Montreal would not be immune to such tragedies.

“We had Dawson College, we had Polytechnique… It rarely happens and I like to think that we learn from our lessons and that's why it happens less often, but no doubt it’s possible it could happen.”

Celeste Trianon shares the same concerns. Even if she says she is “very lucky to be in Montreal”, this metropolis which she describes as “generally very inclusive”, does not prevent her from admitting to being the target of daily micro-aggressions and that she ” sometimes smacks of transphobia, homophobia or misogyny in everyday life”.

She hastens to add, however, that such words are intended to be lucid and not alarming. “At the end of the day, I don't want the world to be scared. I want us to feel safe, beautiful and beautiful, comfortable to be here”, assures the organizer.

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