I have been a part of the LGBTQ community in New Orleans as a bar owner and business operator since 1975. Throughout my involvement in our community, I have always supported our advancements over the last 44 years, including supporting and funding campaigns that resulted in the election of LGBTQ supportive politicians, our achievement of a civil rights ordinance, our achievement of a domestic partnership ordinance, our fight for marriage equality, the establishment of LGBTQ advocacy groups, and the fight for our community in the HIV/AIDS crisis, which tragically impacted so many of my own staff and customers.
Recently, I have been criticized over an incident involving my legal defense of allegations made against one of my businesses, The Rawhide, by the ATC, and the subsequent fallout, resulting in the ATC’s pursuit of complaints concerning The Phoenix. To the extent that anything I may have said or done that turned the focus to The Phoenix, I want to apologize to The Phoenix, its management, staff and customers.
If there is one thing that I have learned in the past 44 years in this business, it is that if we all do not stick together and support each other, we all fail. I pledge to continue to support our ever-evolving community, and look forward to continuing to work with all members of the LGBTQ community. I ask for your support in my efforts, and the efforts of those who voluntarily serve and advocate for our community.
Thomas G. “Tom” Wood
July 24, 2019