The Old Plantation (familiarly known as The OP) nightclub in El Paso, Texas, has come under fire after one of its owners posted a photo on Instagram from Donald Trump’s rally in which he proudly displayed a “Keep America Great 2020” banner.
The photo of Alcantar was denounced widely on social media.
Wrote Puta Kahlo, a local drag performer, on Facebook: “I’m fu**king 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 sh*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 sh*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 bullshit political ideals. Trash.”
Alcantar told local station KTSM he was sorry, and didn’t know anything about Trump’s anti-LGBTQ agenda: “It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I didn’t know the stuff that Trump was passing. But I have to support our President because he’s our current president; I don’t have any other choice.”
Marc Adkins, the CEO of the nightclub, apologized on Facebook.
It has come to the attention of the Old Plantation ownership and staff that a minority stakeholder in the Old Plantation Nightclub was an attendee of President Trump’s rally in El Paso last night. We apologize to our patrons, members of the LGBTQ community, and any other members of the El Paso community for any confusion this has caused about our club, its ownership and its intention.
We want to make one thing as clear as crystal: The Old Plantation Nightclub does NOT support Trump’s views or opinions especially towards our LGBTQ community. The OP was built by and built for the LGBTQ community and everyone should know that.
We understand the concern and outrage from the community being reflected on social media, and we would like to reiterate that the individual who attended Trump’s rally is, just that, only one individual who is a minor shareholder that owns a small fraction of the company.
While he is a person who invested some of his hard earnings in our vision, with the sole intention of bringing The OP back for its original purpose, 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. 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.
For those that don’t know, I, Mark Adkins, am the actual Owner, CEO, and majority shareholder — and also one of the original OP owners. We re-opened the OP as a place of love not hate. We hope that our beloved patrons can focus on how we can unite, enjoy each other and create new memories with one another.
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.
Meanwhile, Alcantar’s photo remains on his Instagram page.
He wrote a message in an Instagram story saying he left the photo up because he’s standing up for himself and he doesn’t back down “from any challenges that my choices have made.” He said that his post wasn’t meant to be a tip jar for everybody’s two cents and he has never judged the LGBT community.