An owner of a gay bar in El Paso, Texas, is facing criticism after being spotted posing at a Donald Trump rally.
Johnny Alcantar, one of five people who own the Old Plantation bar, took a photo of himself and other Trump supporters behind a 2020 banner and posted it on social media.
He later apologised on KTSM-TV, saying he didn’t know about the President’s stance on LGBT+ rights.
“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,” Alcantar said.
The CEO of the bar, Mark Adkins, apologised for Alcantar’s actions on Facebook.
He wrote: “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,” said Adkins.
He added that Alcantar had “invested some of his hard earnings” into the Old Plantation, but did not represent the bar or it’s 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,” Adkins said.
“We have faith, however, that love will always win.”
In response to Alcantar’s actions, local drag queen Puto Kahlo commented on Facebook: “I’m f*****g disgusted by one of the owners of The OP right now.
“I was clicking through social media when I realised 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 shit for community but try to erase us, degraded women, and perpetuated racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” Kahlo added.