EXCLUSIVE: Air Force Cadets From ‘Homophobic/Transphobic Families Or Areas’ Told To Be ‘Supportive’ After Shooting

Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

James Lynch Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

An Air Force cadet in charge of Diversity and Inclusion sent an all-hands email reminding cadets from “homophobic/transphobic families or areas” that they were expected to provide “support” in the wake of the Club Q shooting.

The Sunday email obtained by the Daily Caller explained that,

“For those who may be from homophobic/transphobic families or areas, LGBTQ+ friendly places like Club Q provide a welcoming environment that doesn’t exist everywhere. This direct attack on a LGBTQ+ club indicates how prominent the risk is to being LGBTQ+, and I hope that you are more than willing to provide support and check in with those around you, regardless if they are part of the LGBTQ+ community or not. The atmosphere created within USAFA is a crucial aspect of feeling included as a LGBTQ+ cadet, especially during this time.”

The Daily Caller reached out to the cadet who sent the email. She did not respond to the request for comment.

A spokesman for the Air Force Academy first told the Daily Caller he was unaware such an email was even sent to the student body. Following the Daily Caller’s inquiry to the cadet in question, the spokesperson followed up by sending an official internal statement on the Club Q shooting from the school’s superintendent, and requested that all requests for comment to cadets run through his office. (RELATED: Gay Nightclub Shooting Suspect Is Grandson Of GOP State Legislator)

The Daily Caller sent a series of detailed questions to the spokesperson — about specifying which “families” and “areas” the email referred to and whether the Air Force thought such language ran the risk of alienating other cadets — but he would not comment further on the matter.

A concerned cadet parent told the Daily Caller, “while the Club Q shooting was a horrible unnecessary attack on people who do not deserve it, it is not right to attack USAFA cadets’ families calling them homophobic and transphobic without any proof; especially since they had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting. Representing the entire USAFA leadership, this cadet insinuates that uninvolved cadets, their supportive families, beloved hometowns, and safe places of worship have contributed to this insane violence. Such accusations are unacceptable and inexcusable.”

The parent added that “the woke USAFA leadership continues to demean multiple unsuspecting groups of people, like moms, dads, boyfriends, girlfriends, cadets’ families, cadets’ hometowns, and cadets’ places of worship, while trying to be sensitive to a small group of individuals. They should be considerate of all types of people, not just some.” The parent commented under anonymity out of fear of reprisal for her cadet daughter.

The email said authorization for the Q Club shooting guidance came from a senior cadet colonel. It does not initially appear that any faculty or employees of the academy had a hand in the message.

The Superintendent’s full message to staff and students reads, “I’m sure most of you have heard about the tragic mass shooting Saturday night at an LGBTQ+ nightclub here in Colorado Springs.  Our hearts go out to the victims and their families in the wake of this senseless act of violence, and I know this tragedy hits close to home and weighs heavily on many of our Cadets and Permanent Party. We need to be great wingmen in the days ahead, and I encourage all of you to check on those around you. If you need support during this difficult time, please take advantage of the many resources available to you (your USAFA family, Military Family Life Counselors, Chaplains, Peak Performance Center, Cadet Spectrum Club, etc.). Let’s stand together and look out for each other during this difficult time for our City.”

Five people were killed and 18 were injured in the shooting at Club Q, a local LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. The suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, is in custody on possible murder and hate crime charges, The New York Times reports.

The suspect was apparently taken down and subdued with his own weapon by 15 year army vet and small business owner Richard M. Fierro, the Times reported. Fierro’s actions along with others prevented many more deaths, officials said on the scene.