NewsLocal News


'Keep their memory alive': First Denver Pride since Club Q attack both a celebration, remembrance

Club Q survivors served as grand marshals in parade Sunday as thousands flooded the streets in downtown Denver for 2023 Pride fest,
Posted: 9:37 PM, Jun 25, 2023
Updated: 2023-06-26 11:40:51-04
Pride Parade Denver

DENVER — Sunday was a beautiful day for a celebration in downtown Denver.

2023 Pride events continued with a parade and big celebration in Civic Center Park.

The celebration was also marked by a remembrance, as the grand marshals in the parade were all Club Q shooting survivors.

“Club Q is always in our memory," said Pride attendee Mike Wenk.

“Certainly, Club Q was a special part of the experience," said Bob Janowski, Pride attendee.

"It's very special,” said Pride attendee Deana Robinson. “Can't imagine being in that situation where you're in a mass shooting and people that you know and love have passed away."

This year’s Pride celebration was Denver's first since the Club Q shooting last November in Colorado Springs.

Pride Parade Denver
Entertainer Ophelia Peaches waves while riding on a float in the Pride parade through the streets of downtown Denver, Sunday, June 25, 2023. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“Within our community, it's important for us to remember where we came from,” said Denver City Councilman-elect Darrell Watson. “Understand that throughout the country, not in Denver, but throughout the country – we are facing attacks on our families, attacks on our community. And to highlight the folks that survived that vicious attack and to say that's not going to happen again in Colorado."

"We need to honor all people who are victims of gun violence, everywhere in America," said Pride attendee Phil Nash.

At X Bar and other gay bars on Colfax, security was tight this Pride weekend – a reminder of the violence.

"This celebration is very meaningful,” said Destiny Dorn, manager at X Bar. “The Club Q shooting was so close to home and so it’s not only about us, but also about those we lost and we want to honor them, as well and keep their memory alive."

And as the shooter is due in court this week, there's also a sense of peace among those in the crowd.

Pride Parade Denver
Participants march in the Pride parade through the streets of downtown Denver, Sunday, June 25, 2023. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

"I think hatred hurts the hater,” Janowski said. “And you don't get over it unless you can forgive people."

“The fact that it was somebody who wanted to identify as an LGBTQI-plus person is even more impactful because we're supposed to be one community and that wasn't shown that night," Robinson said.

“We're all the same people,” said L.J. Dexter. “Doesn't matter if I like a woman or a man or whatever it is."

“And we all deserve love, and we all deserve respect, and we all deserve to not live our lives in fear," Robinson said.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.