COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — About 11 months have passed since Natalee Skye last visited the memorial outside of Club Q, when she pulled up to the site on a cool November afternoon. The one-year mark of the horrific shooting that stole her best friend’s life is approaching. But that’s not why Natalee Skye has made the drive down to Colorado Springs.
She made the drive for a birthday party.
“I will never forget her birthday, and I will always celebrate it with her,” Skye said, as she laid a store-bought cake at the foot of Kelly Loving’s picture, which now adorns the side of Club Q along with the four others killed in the mass shooting.
Loving would have turned 41 years old on Nov. 16, 2023. As Skye pulled out her lighter, sparked a flame, and lit a “41” candle, she recalled how much Loving had done for her personally. Loving was her “trans mother,” she said, helping her with her own transition years ago.
“A trans mother is someone that, like your real mother, they take you under their wing,” Skye said. “They teach you the ropes of how it is to live day to day, and you know what it is to be a trans woman.”
Skye talked to Loving on the phone just minutes before she was killed. In the wake of her death, Skye said she has been moved to become a “stronger person for the trans community,” and is starting a nonprofit to help other transgender women find stable homes.
The ever-growing memorial outside Club Q, in Skye’s eyes, is evidence that hate did not and will not prevail.
“She really did make a difference for the better in my life,” she said of Loving. “And, I can’t thank her enough.”
Club Q Shooting