Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is on the defensive after many pointed out the correlation between her attacks on the LGBTQ+ community and this weekend's mass shooting at a queer Colorado nightclub near her district, where five people died and at least 18 were injured.
Boebert, a gun fetishist narrowly reelected to Congress this month, has made a political career of villainizing minorities, including sexual and gender minorities. She often conflates transgender people with drag artists and has attacked both groups of people. Boebert claims drag queen reading hours are akin to strip shows, saying 6-year-olds are being exposed to obscenity and calling the library events "child abuse." She misgenders transgender people, including Health and Human Services official Dr. Rachel Levine, and says services for trans youth are "grooming." Mainstream media outlets like Yahoo! News label her messaging about LGBTQ+ people "smears."
The congresswoman tweeted out a message after the Club Q attack Saturday night, saying the victims and their families were "in her prayers." Many condemned her message, including Brianna Titone, a transgender state representative in Colorado.
Boebert is now turning criticisms of her attacks on the LGBTQ+ community - and accusations that it contributed to the shooter attacking the queer nightclub - as "disgusting" in a radio interview.
"That is completely false. I have never had bad rhetoric towards anyone and their personal preference as an adult," she told KOA's Ross Kaminsky in a Tuesday radio interview, as reported by Colorado Public Radio. "What I've criticized is the sexualization of our children. And I've criticized men dressing up as caricatures of women."
Many are not buying Boebert's protestations.
"It's nonsense, but it's not laughable because it's so dangerous," LGBTQ+ Colorado state representative-elect Stephanie Vigil told CPR. "And we know that when you start to dehumanize and slander people in this way, eventually somebody who has an inclination to violence will feel very emboldened that they're doing a good thing by carrying out violence against people like myself and many of my loved ones."