Gay Bar Apologizes After Owner Attends Trump Rally

The bar distanced itself from the co-owner in its apology.

A gay bar in El Paso, Texas has apologized after one of its owners attended a Trump rally and posted photos of himself to social media.

Johnny Alcantar, one of five owners of The Old Plantation, known as The OP Nightclub, posted a photo of himself on Instagram with a Trump banner, and also posted video to his Insta story, according to KTSM.

Trump rally
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
President Trump holds a rally in El Paso, Texas on February 11, 2019.

DJ and drag queen Puta Kahlo, who posted a screenshot of Alcantar’s Instagram post, reported being “disgusted.”

“Y’all, straight people are the first to try to profit off of our community and our art but won’t hesitate to support a man who has called trans people burdens, hasn’t done shit for community but try to erase us, degraded women, and perpetuated racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” Kahlo wrote.

That prompted a response from the bar, which apologized but was also critical of Kahlo for calling it out.

“To all of our fellow patrons, and LGBT members. We apologize for any confusion going through your heads at this time,” a Facebook post signed by Mark Adkins, CEO of The OP Nightclub. “We want to make one thing as clear as crystal: The Old Plantation Nightclub does NOT support Trumps views or opinions ESPECIALLY towards our LGBT community. The OP was built by and built for the LGBT community and everyone should already know that.”

The post continued, saying it was Kahlo’s right to “speak up on how you feel towards the subject, but before you try to ’End another bars [sic] reputation’ like you said and state that The OP as a company supports trump [sic] because of 1 individual who is only a minor shareholder that owns a small fraction of the company…is just not right.”

“Would you bash Apple because a shareholder attended a rally? Or because Steve Jobs attended it?”

gay bar Trump rally controversy
The OP Nightclub/Facebook

That portion has since been edited out of the post.

The statement continues, saying the establishment “understand the concern and outrage from the community being reflected on social media,” and downplaying Alcantar’s role in the company throughout.

It calls him “a person who invested some of his hard earnings in our vision” and saying he “does not represent The Old Plantation, its ownership or our community in any way.”

“This minority partner is an individual with an open mind and an open heart,” it reads. “We have spoken with this individual and he has expressed his regret for posting about the rally on social media and his fundamental lack of knowledge about the ways in which Trump’s administration is working to stifle the rights of the LGBTQ community, as well as the rights of others in the greater El Paso community.”

“It’s very easy to forget how to express and show love and respect when politicians, including our own president, are spreading division through their words and policies. We have faith, however, that love will always win,” it concludes.

Kahlo has responded, calling it “some passive aggressive shit” and “another ass-backwards apology to the community.”

“Listen here, I’m fucking TIRED of Trump supporters picking and choosing what policies and things he’s said to stand behind. If you voted for him, you might have voted because you believe ’he’s a good business man’ or whatever else y’all choose to defend Trump’s rhetoric. If you voted for him, you’ve ALSO voted against the rights of immigrants, trans people, and women…and if you’re willing to turn a blind eye to those groups because of his economic plans for the nation then that makes you a SHIT ally. So no, I’m not taking the post down and I’m standing my ground because your attempts at intimidation just won’t work when it comes to me. I don’t care if he owns 10%, 50% or 70% – he doesn’t deserve a penny from gay pockets for idly standing by and supporting that man. And I really couldn’t care less.”

Kahlo also criticized the bar for allegedly requesting a six hour, unpaid “audition” gig on a Friday night, with the possibility of future paid work.

“It was never my intention to hurt anyone,” Alcantar told KTSM, noting he has gay friends and family members. “I didn’t know the stuff that Trump was passing.”

“I don’t agree with everything that Donald Trump says. But I have to support our President because he’s our current president; I don’t have any other choice.”

Journalist, editor, and artist.