Keith Orr, co-owner of the Aut Bar, posted a message today on Facebook stating that their “safe space has been attacked” at 315 Braun Court in Ann Arbor. He owns the bar with his husband, Martin Contreras. He explained that last night their rainbow flag, lights, wires, fascia board and rainbow streamers had all been ripped down.
“I guess that’s OK in Trump’s America,” wrote Orr. “Or at least people feel like they’ve been given permission to do stuff like this.”
Orr speaks to the real damage beyond the monetary damage which wasn’t that great.
“Right now I feel violated. I hope the community also feels violated, because this wasn’t an attack on Martin or me. This was an attack on our community,” he said.
Their principle mission has always been to provide a safe space for the LGBT community. Many members of the community have come forward to offer help and support. Orr is in the process of figuring out what exactly he needs, but the community can engage on Aut Bar’s Facebook page.
Aut Bar opened 22 years ago and is a part of what Orr refers to as “Gay Central.” The couple also own Common Language, a Feminist/LGBT bookstore next door, and next to that, a building rented by the Jim Toy Community Center.
Ann Arbor Police Department’s Lieutenant Matthew Lige was not available for comment.