A statement from Union/Axis founder Rajesh Lahoti

Rajesh Lahoti

As a company owned and operated by a dual minority, both Indian and a gay male, we have always supported equality for everyone. We have fought hard over the past 20 years by donating time, energy and money to support the LGBT community. The organizations we support have been fighting for human rights for all gays and lesbians – including minority groups. That is where we have chosen to make an impact. We also routinely support diversity groups by donating time, money, food, space and more. We have a very diverse work force, as 4 of our previous 7 Service Managers have been minorities. Unfortunately, racism, homophobia and misogyny exist in every community.

Unfortunately a few members of our GLBT minority community are trying to accuse us of being racist because they had friends who started a fight in Axis and were thrown out. However, just being a minority does not make one an activist or the voice of that community. If you start a fight in our venues we will ban you, call the police to file a report and work to protect our guests who have for 20 years enjoyed a peaceful fun atmosphere. We never agreed to any demands from this group of 3 people. In fact, we found them to be racist (yes minorities can be very racist). They told my friends Brooks Williams “he wasn't black enough” and told me I didn't count as a minority in their eyes – only blacks did. It's unfortunate they have such narrow minded views yet want the world to open their minds to change. We have to be the change that we want. We support equality for everyone and all oppressed minorities must band together as one when any of us are attacked. There is no place for racism to fight racism. Only love and unity can fight racism.

(Editor's Note: Tylon Fuller responded to the statement, noting that the three who attended the January meeting with Lahoti have no ties to the individuals who fought at Axis. “We are not friends … that is an assumption [Lahoti] made,” he said. Fuller also said no one told Brooks Williams he “wasn't black enough,” because “we ourselves have discussed you can't measure blackness.” “However, we did tell [Williams] he was immersed in white culture. The same went for Rajesh. We never said he wasn't a minority, only that he was immersed in white culture.”)