SAN FRANCISCO - The Colorado shooting is reverberating around the world, especially in gay communities like San Francisco's Castro District.
Reaction is one of heartbreak, but not surprise.
At Lookout bar, a block from San Francisco's Castro Street, many gathered for an event protesting FIFA World Cup host Country Qatar, and its anti-gay policies.
On the same day, the crowd learned fellow Americans at home were killed during a night out at a gay bar in Colorado Springs.
"It was already going to be a difficult day, November 20th of Transgender Day of Remembrance," said Suzzane Ford, Interim Executive Director of SF Pride. "And then on top of that we find out five of our community have been killed and over 25 people injured. Its horrifying. I'm tired of it."
Like the bar in Colorado, Lookout is supposed to be considered a safe space for the LGBTQ community. In reality, some say no such space exists.
"I would love to think this is a safe space. This is one of the queerest cities I’ve ever been exposed to and that’s why I love living here," said Marc Repnyek. "But it really takes one person with a car and a motive and they can come from anywhere else or even someone from within the city."
Nas Mohamed is from Qatar but fled because of its anti-gay policies that could mean jail or worse for him.
Whether it’s anti-gay rhetoric that’s allowed here, or government-sanctioned hate in his homeland, Mohamed says words can manifest into physical harm.
"Hate speech against the LGBTQ community anywhere and tolerating it and not standing up against it can result in violence against us everywhere, truly," Nas Mohamed, Founder of Alwan Foundation.
Contrary to what some may believe, leaders say the LGBTQ community isn’t a monolithic group and has fractures and rifts within. But when it comes to violence, they say events like the deadly one in Colorado can help bring everyone together.
"We may have squabbles, but we all need to be unified," said Ford. "And we all need to fight around that certain principle, LGBTQ rights are human rights and we deserve them, period. And that’s not asking very much. So, I think today you’ll see a unity in our community that quite frankly we need to have."