NewsClub Q Shooting


Drag show fundraiser captures energy fostered by Club Q

Former Club Q performers take stage, raise money for community
Drag show fundraiser captures energy fostered by Club Q
Posted at 6:35 AM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 08:35:00-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — On Sunday, Phantom Canyon Brewing Company hosted a fundraiser dedicated to helping those directly impacted by the Club Q mass shooting in November.

The fundraiser included a drag show, where many former Club Q performers took the stage, including Wyatt Kent.

“Potted Plant is my drag character, my dual persona, and she's the comedy queen of Colorado Springs, who brings chaos into the room," Kent laughed while putting on makeup. “It's crazy that every single time I'm doing something that's kind of a memorial thing or something that has to do with Daniel, he visits me in my dreams before.”

Daniel Aston was one of the five people killed in the shooting, and was the love of Kent's life. Kent wore Daniel's robe, shoes, and hat while transforming into Potted Plant.

“I've got this feeling that he is definitely here with me," Kent said with a smile.

READ MORE: 'Love always, Daniel': Club Q drag queen shares love story that will live forever

Sabrina Aston, Daniel's mother, was in the crowd for the performance.

“Daniel talked about him all the time, before they even started going together, you know, telling me about, you need to meet Potted Plant. So good, so talented," Sabrina remembered.

Sabrina had not seen Potted Plant perform since the incident, and was excited to be part of the event.

“I want to be a voice for Daniel," Sabrina said. “I want to start being out there, showing my face. Make sure people don't forget what happened.”

Alongside Potted Plant in the dressing room was Del Lusional, who worked as a Club Q producer. The night of the shooting was the first show they produced.

“I'm not just coping over the loss of my friends and my home, I'm coping over the fact that I almost lost my own life," Del Lusional said while putting on their signature bright pink eyeshadow. “It's a lot to think about, and a lot of overthinking, lots of survivor's guilt. It gets better though, slowly, but surely. Today, I'm doing pretty good. I'm very excited about the show tonight.”

Del Lusional said they are overjoyed to be back in drag, after spending around a month without it. They are also overwhelmed with gratitude for the community's support.

“It just shows that there's support outside of the queer community, you know, the straights are still on our side," laughed Del Lusional. “You can't shut the Club Q performers off, trust me."

Matthew Haynes, the owner of Club Q, attended the fundraiser and said Club Q will come back stronger than ever.

“Every single day someone stops me or recognizes me and says 'Hey, when's it coming back?' That's the million dollar question. Of course, when? When is it going to come back? When we have all of our ducks in a row, when it comes back in a perfect format," Haynes said. “Our focus will not be on November 19, our focus is going to be on the people that were there, and more importantly, how this city and how this community all came back together. That's our focus.”

While Haynes cannot give an exact date when Club Q will reopen, he said it will happen within 2023 and will continue to serve the LGBTQ+ community.

"It'll have all of the elements, plus additional elements that Club Q has always had... It's not just for the current community, it's for the generations to come," said Haynes. “We need to tell the story. Because really, this horrific act, that actually only lasted for a very short period of time, does not define who this community is. It doesn't define our past, and it certainly isn't going to define our future.”

Those behind the fundraiser on Sunday afternoon said they raised more than $50,000. The proceeds are going toward the Club Q Compassion Fund and The Trevor Project.