Libs of TikTok Trends in Wake of Colorado Springs Club Q Shooting

The controversial account posts hateful content daily.
By Amelia Merrill
A flag reading "Trans Rights Are Human Rights" at a vigil outside Club Q.
Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

In the wake of the mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ bar and nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., Twitter users have laid blame on Libs of TikTok. The controversial account posts homophobic and transphobic content daily.

Libs of TikTok is most active on Twitter after Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have suspended the account multiple times. The page often editorializes screenshots from transgender TikTok users and healthcare professionals who work with LGBTQ people.

As a frequent critic of drag shows and LGBTQ-friendly children’s spaces, such as drag queen storytelling hours at public libraries, some news media and social media users have linked the Club Q shooter’s motives to Libs of TikTok’s rhetoric.

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On Saturday night, a gunman killed five people and injured 19 others at the Colorado Springs LGBTQ club in a span of roughly six minutes. Two club patrons subdued the gunman, whom police identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, who was arrested last year in Texas for felony menacing and first degree kidnapping. (NBC News explains that because details of Aldrich’s 2021 case are sealed, he may have been able to obtain a gun legally.)

Aldrich killed multiple trans people in the attack.

Six years after the mass shooting at the LGBTQ club Pulse in Orlando, Fla. left 49 people dead, mass shootings across the country have only increased. Shootings often target marginalized and vulnerable groups in majority Black neighborhoods, synagogues, and LGBTQ spaces.

Mainstream conservative news has capitalized on hateful rhetoric against LGBTQ people in schools, the healthcare industry, and other professions that interact with children. Libs of TikTok has helped fuel accusations that LGBTQ people are child groomers, or pedophiles.

Run by Chaya Raichik, a woman in California, Libs of TikTok reposts TikTok videos made by those Raichik deems liberal or leftist and focuses on videos by or about the LGBTQ community—specifically trans people. Raichik often reposts videos of people discussing pronouns, being misgendered, or their experiences in the medical field, and adds degrading editorial comments.

On Sunday, after the Club Q shooting, Raichik posted screenshots from the Instagram account of Dragutante, a Colorado-based nonprofit that lets LGBTQ adolescents learn about and perform drag in a safe environment.

The post incited outrage among social media users, particularly members of the LGBTQ community and gun control advocates. Influencer and LGBTQ activist Matt Bernstein noted links between Libs of Tik Tok’s agenda and that of right-wing pundit Tucker Carlson, who has mentioned the account on his Fox News show multiple times.

 

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“You have blood on your hands,” Bernstein said of Raichik, Carlson, and controversial Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert. Boebert is a gun rights advocate who has criticized drag shows and kid-friendly LGBTQ events multiple times.

Religious Jewish people on Twitter also criticized Raichik, who is an Orthodox Jew, for her Sunday post and incitement to violence.

Libs of TikTok currently has 1.5 million followers on Twitter.