El Paso Alternative Club Responds to Backlash from LGBTQ Community
After President Trump's MAGA rally many people were left feeling even more divided in the city of the 915. I think many people believe that if you attended the rally instead of Beto O'Rourke's March for Truth, you were an avid supporter of Trump and his policies. I certainly would have believed that until I found myself sitting at the Coliseum on Monday night listening to President Trump speak.
Now, one of my favorite bars is now receiving backlash from many members of the LGBTQ community for a picture that was posted Monday night. In it, Johnny Alcantar, who is part owner of the alternative lifestyle bar and night club The OP, is posing with others holding a Trump Flag.
This did not sit well with many from the LGBTQ community- who have felt ostracized from the Trump administrations comments. Least of all with El Paso Drag Artist Puta Kahlo who took to Facebook to share her thoughts. With a screenshot of Alcantar's now famous picture she wrote:
"I’m f***ing disgusted by one of the owners of The OP right now. I was clicking through social media when I realized that Johnny Alcantar, one of the owners of the OP posted this photo and uploaded videos of him proudly attending the MAGA rally in support of Trump. 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 s**t for community but try to erase us, degraded women, and perpetuated racist and xenophobic rhetoric. It’s so easy to buy a space and slap the OP’s name on it - but how much do you REALLY know about us and what have you done for the community? ‘Cause right about now, your position is looking pretty questionable. WATCH WHO THE F**K YOU SUPPORT! I ain’t walking in that regurgitated s**tpool of a club anymore and neither should you. Please share, this deserves to be seen. We need answers. Don’t tarnish our sanctuaries with your bulls**t political ideals. Trash."
After many called for a boycott of the club owner and CEO Mark Adkins took to Facebook to respond to Kahlo's and many others comments:
The OP has always been one of my favorite places to go. I've always felt welcomed and safe to be myself. It certainly disheartened me when I saw Alcantar's picture but then I remembered that I too sat in that Coliseum as a member of the media (the fake news media BTW). I could have easily skipped it, but I felt it was important to be there and report back to our listeners what I saw and heard. Many people in attendance went for the mere fact that a President was speaking in El Paso. It was a once in a lifetime event. It's important to remember that we can all have different views.
Trump's comments on the LGBTQ community have proven to be offensive and alarming. Alcantar has also taken to his personal Instagram page to apologize for offending the LGBTQ community but for many, him simply being there and supporting the man who recently banned transgender people from the military was enough to call for a boycott. While it is your very right to boycott and bash The OP, let's all try to remember Adkins' message- "Do not focus on the HATE, but focus on the LOVE."