LGBTQ people in Rochester, New York have banned together to learn how to shoot guns together.
Trigger Warning Queer & Trans Gun Club was founded last year due to the need for protection against the increasingly bold Alt-Right and Neo-Nazis. So far, there are 18 members, who are all LGBTQ and paying regular dues.
Members meet once a month to shoot still targets and clay pigeons, and to learn how to properly wield, shoot, and take care of guns.
The group’s mission is to educate themselves on how to stay protected and armed in case the country goes badly (or maybe just if it gets worse).
“It’s a way to assert our strength,’ says 27-year-old Jake Allen to the NYDailyNews, who helped create the group. ‘Often, queer people are thought of as being weak, as being defenseless, and I think in many ways this pushes back against that. And I want white supremacists and neo-Nazis to know that queer people are taking steps necessary to protect themselves.”
The group’s official Facebook page also shares the idea that they have formed together after facing tough adversity such as hate crimes, housing discrimination, homelessness, rape, suicide attempts, rejection from families, and more.
But, it’s through those struggles that they draw the power to press on.
“The things that have triggered us in the past have brought us together and inspired us to organize.” As stated on the Facebook pate, “The ways that we have been harmed have caused us to heal stronger than we were before. The structures of heteronormativity, racial privilege, sexual privilege, and class privilege have tried to break us. The current regime is attempting to formalize our destruction under the guise of religious freedom, but they will not succeed.”
While the group is only looking for local members, there is another Trigger Warning Chapter in the Atlanta area. Plus, people in at least ten other cities have expressed interest in starting up their own chapter.
In addition, a similar group in Pittsburgh called the Pink Pistols has noted an increase in membership after both the 2016 election and the Charlottesville rally.