On behalf of the Board of Directors, Staff, Advisors, and volunteers of LGBT Detroit, we extend our most profound sorrow upon receiving the news of the Woodward Bar and Grill’s destruction today. The Woodward Bar and Grill is more than just a nightclub … it is our cultural center for dining, entertainment, and social gatherings. And while the City of Detroit is known for its vibrancy, this is where things truly came alive. This is where several gatherings occurred for LGBT+ and allied people, neighbors, and the working class within the heart of Detroit’s main street for decades. The Woodward Bar and Grill has also been the past host for Hotter Than July events and various other LGBT Detroit fundraisers. The “Woodward” is a staple in the community, and its destruction is a devastating blow to the social fabric.
We both share and support the owner’s vision in what they’ve created, to be a conduit for self-expression, exploration, learning, fun, and most of all — community. While LGBT Detroit and people near and far grieve this loss, we’ve taken only a short breath before realizing this means we must further examine the preservation of safe, brave spaces, their value, and the resources they provide for people who seek safety. Our hope is that we not only grieve, but rebuild, and rebuild better with these questions in mind.
LGBT Detroit, founded in 1994, commits to furthering its mission, increasing the prominence and visibility of Detroit’s LGBT culture, and building a strong, healthy, and vibrant community, with a focus on economic and racial justice, health care disparities, global sexual freedoms and expressions, and anti-discrimination policies. LGBT Detroit envisions a Michigan where its citizens are treated fairly and equitably under the law and activate, amplify, and sustain LGBT+ culture, education, advocacy, and human rights.