[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
It’s certainly not a shock to learn the Colorado Springs shooter had a terrible home life. We’re talking about a 22-year-old who walked into a nightclub with a rifle and killed five strangers. But this is… something else altogether.
Days after the horrific mass shooting at the LGBTQ-friendly Club Q, CBS 8 out of San Diego tracked down the gunman’s father, who lives there — and hasn’t seen his kid in years. The excerpts from his interview are… shocking to say the least.
First off we learned the man is a porn star. He was also on the A&E reality show Intervention because of a meth addiction. Shockingly he didn’t even know his son was alive until a few months before the shooting. He explained that the mother had told him in 2016 that their son had died by suicide:
“I thought he was dead. I mourned his loss. I had gone through a meltdown and thought I had lost my son.”
This may have been to protect their son — who would have been a minor at that point — from him. He explained that they’d tried to create as much distance as possible because of his past:
“His mother told me he changed his name because I was in Intervention and I had been a porno actor.”
That may be true, but there may be another reason for the name change. Late Tuesday night the shooter’s attorneys also mentioned they’re non-binary — and go by they/them pronouns. That alone may have been enough reason to create a barrier between father and son. If the father even knew, of course. Per The Daily Beast, the shooter’s mom clearly didn’t know about the non-binary identity, because in a text message from the day of the shooting, the mother refers to the shooter with he/him pronouns.
In either case, what comes next in the father’s interview is perhaps the single most homophobic thing we’ve ever heard. It’s incredibly disturbing, but it’s important context…
On Sunday the father got the call about the shooting — about the worst call a parent can imagine getting. His response was terrible. He told the outlet:
“They started telling me about the incident, a shooting involving multiple people. And then I go on to find out it’s a gay bar. I said, ‘God, is he gay?’ I got scared: ‘S**t, is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, ‘Phew!’”
We’re sorry. You found out your son murdered multiple innocent people in a mass shooting, and your biggest worry was the possibility they were gay?!?
JFC, people. Do you see what we’re dealing with? This is the same kind of insane, irrational, overwhelming hatred that drives people to commit acts of violence against the LGBTQ community. Valuing this preoccupation with sexual preference over actual human lives. That’s homophobia, folks. That’s obsession. That’s hate. F**k. And yes, that kind of hate can be internalized! The Daily Beast also reports the shooter’s former neighbor and friend often heard them use anti-gay slurs, so…
This man actually paused from talking about a f**king mass murder committed by his son to assure viewers that they weren’t gay:
“You know Mormons don’t do gay. We don’t do gay. There’s no gays in the Mormon church. We don’t do gay.”
The gunman was previously confirmed to have been a member of the LDS Church, but apparently not a practicing one. Not the point, obviously. The point is this father’s homophobia was stronger than his empathy for the victims or even concern for his own son’s actions.
After being assured his son wasn’t gay, he was able to process the shooting news. He took the brave stance that mass shootings are wrong:
“There’s no excuse for going and killing people. If you’re killing people, there’s something wrong. It’s not the answer.”
Such fantastic advice from the father of the year, thanks.
See the shocking full extended video of his interview (below):
To learn more about how you can help the LGBTQ+ community, check out https://www.glaad.org/.
[Image via ABC 7/CBS 8/YouTube.]