People link hands at the memorial near Club Q in Colorado Springs. RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Beloved community, 

Like you, we are experiencing the emotional tidal wave of feelings in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. This horrific shooting was not isolated; it is just the latest example from a long history of physical and legislative attacks on trans and queer communities. It isn’t lost on us that this attack fell on the eve of Trans Day of Remembrance, a day created to honor the life and death of Rita Hester.

Our day-to-day work is rooted in building a world that is safe for queer and trans folks, people of color, people with disabilities. These are also the communities we come from and came up in. It makes these heart-aching moments of targeted violence against our people hard to face, yet we must.

Right now, we are holding space for the grief, sadness, and rage being experienced by the local community in Colorado, as well as those impacted by other trans- and queer-directed violence, including survivors of the 2016 massacre at Pulse Nightclub. We are also meditating on our deep love for the victims, survivors, their families, and communities as they grieve, heal, and rebuild after this tragedy. There is hard and hopeful work ahead, and with time we know frontline organizations and leaders will continue to build the world we need.

For all of Borealis’ existence, we have invested in the grassroots organizing and power building of our communities. We see, every day, the limitless courage and strategic brilliance our grantee partners apply to building a world where all people get to live safely, with dignity. They are creating a future where trans and queer folks have community support, gender-affirming care and bodily autonomy, access to food, shelter, and joy, and safety from violence and harm.

To our fellow funders: this is a time to follow the lead of movements and communities, and to generously support their work. We invite you to join us in giving to organizations that are building collective liberation. This includes supporting rapid response funds and providing long-term, unrestricted support beyond this moment. Philanthropy as a sector cannot opt-out of supporting this work until tragedies like this are an awful part of our history, not a regular occurrence in our communities.