November 20, 2022

By now, many of you have already heard reports from Colorado Springs, Colorado about a fatal shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub. The shooting is currently being investigated as a hate crime, and rightfully so.

That we are yet again issuing a joint statement condemning a horrific act of violence in our country should be unfathomable. Sadly it is not. In the United States this year there have been more than 600 mass shootings, with more than 26 in the month of November alone. Our LGBTQ+ communities are reeling from another senseless and targeted attack while continuing to heal from the Pulse Nightclub shooting and innumerable other anti-LGBTQ+ acts of violence. Over the last two years, hate crimes and hate speech against LGBTQ+ individuals and communities have increased more than 50 percent, with record violations against transgender and gender-nonconforming people according to The Human Rights Campaign.

We are heartbroken. We are angry. We are once again reaffirming Somerville’s commitment to remain a safe and welcoming community for all people who call our city home, and to all students who attend our schools. Despite the more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ pieces of legislation that have been introduced across our nation this year including more than 140 directed at youth, Somerville will remain a welcoming city and will continue to stand with, advocate for, and provide critical care and resources for all of our residents regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, ability, age, socioeconomic status, or any other identifier. 

On Tuesday, November 22 at 3 p.m., the City of Somerville, the Somerville Department of Health and Human Services, and the Somerville High School Gender and Sexuality Awareness Alliance (GSAA) will be holding our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony and flag raising in memory of those who have lost their lives to violence. The event is open to the public, and additional support will be available on site for anyone who may need it, particularly in the wake of this weekend’s senseless violence.

-- Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeff Curley, City Council President Matt McLaughlin, School Committee Chair Andre Green