Eugene Community Holds Vigil After Colorado Springs Queer Nightclub Shooting

On Nov. 20, the Eugene community gathered for a candlelight vigil following the night prior where a white 21-year-old shot and killed five and wounded over two dozen at Club Q, a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

  • A white sign with blue text reads "God loves [heart for o] all people. Support the lives of all LGBTQIA [each a different color] people." There's also a rainbow heart and a rainbow flag drawn on the sign.
  • A color photograph of a dozen-or-so tea candles sitting on a table with a few glasses. One is tall is filled with water a few spent matches. In focus and to the left is a pack of matches.

Spectrum—Eugene’s queer bar—is normally closed after 4 p.m. on Sundays but remained open to host the candlelight vigil, organized by 77-year-old Larry Valerone, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Larry Lavernone, wearing a black shirt, rainbow gator, and trans flag colored beanie, stands in front of Spectrum's colorfully painted windows. Hes holding a sign that says "words are not enough. Prayers are not enough. Thoughts are not enough. We must act to stop hate. 2022 Club Q 5 Killed 18 Injured. 2016 Pulse 49 killed 50 injured."
Larry Valerone organized the candlelight vigil at Spectrum on Nov. 20, 2022 for the victims of the hateful shooting in Colorado Springs the night before. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]

Valerone said that he hadn’t done anything after the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida and that he felt he had to do something now. He invited some of his friends, too. 

Two men stand in the middle of this color photo. They're in-between a woman wearing a beanie and a man with a sweatshirt. The two, in the center, are looking straight towards the camera and the one on the left is holding a sign that reads ""I am a vet who served to guarantee freedom, justice, rights, and equality for all Americans. Stop the hate."
Bruce Carlson, a U.S. Army veteran, and Matt, his husband of over 35 years, were encouraged to attend the Nov. 20, 2022 candlelight vigil by Valerone. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]

By 5:30 p.m., there were nearly 30 people of all ages gathered in front of the queer space holding candles and signs in solidarity with those in Colorado Springs.

The vigil lasted for about an hour and ended around 6:30 p.m. Valerone was still outside pacing back and forth with his sign.

  • Slightly more than a dozen individuals stand in front of Spectrum in Eugene. Nearly all have a candle or sign, or both, hand.
  • A color photograph looking down at a white marble-esque table. There are dozens of little tea-candles and a few larger glasses with candles inside. Some of them's wax is melted. On the right is a beer glass with water in it that was used for putting out matches.

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