Grand Junction LBGTQ community gathering to mourn Club Q shooting

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Photos of Kelly Loving (left to right), Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance and Daniel Aston stand above a memorial outside of Colorado Springs’ Club Q. Nov. 22, 2022.

Another vigil will be held in Grand Junction this weekend for the victims of the Club Q shooting, with organizers inviting people to gather at Charlie Dwellington’s at 8pm Saturday.

The pub, which often hosts LGBTQ-friendly events, is considered the Western Slope city’s unofficial gay bar. 

The event is being put together by an independent group led by queer community organizer Caleb Ferganchick. Ferganchick said he and the rest of Grand Junction’s LGBTQ community are struggling after the shooting that killed five people and injured 18 others.

“I think particularly in rural communities or in communities like Colorado Springs that are hyper Christian and hyper conservative, the threat of violence or the understanding that violence has the potential to happen. It’s always in the back of our minds.” said Ferganchick. 

“So many marginalized people have so much rage that we are not allowed to express. I hope that the takeaway from that is that we have got to do something or organize or like to contact our legislators or do you know, anything that we can.” 

Ferganchick, who identifies as queer, grew up in Delta, Colorado. He has lived in Grand Junction for over a decade and just wrapped up an artist-in-residency with the Mesa County Libraries. 

He expressed his frustrations in a recent act of civil disobedience. In a video posted to TikTok and Facebook, Ferganchick splattered what appeared to be blood on the Bill of Rights monument at Grand Junction’s Law & Liberty Plaza. 

“Our blood is on their hands. It is on the hands of legislators like Rep. Lauren Boebert, who continues dehumanizing campaigns against America's most marginalized and at risk populations,” Ferganchick says in the video. “They are apathetic while our blood is spilled in nightclubs, shopping centers, schools, and churches.”

Boebert represents Colorado’s third congressional district, which includes Grand Junction and the rest of the Western Slope. In the wake of the Club Q shooting, she has faced criticism over anti-trans legislation she has sponsored and past remarks against the LGBTQ community. Boebert recently defended her record in a radio interview.   

Ferganchick said he believes vigils are not enough to push change. But he hopes Saturday’s event encourages people to take action. 

“I hope that we find the space to mourn, but I also hope that in that space we find the capacity to mobilize and organize and actually do something,” Ferganchick said.