Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

North Texas LGBTQ Community Grieves the Passing of Thomas Anable

Thomas Anable, 59, President of Fairness Fort Worth.

Benbrook, Texas – Thomas Anable, President of Fairness Fort Worth, an LGBTQ advocacy and education agency dedicated to the transformation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Texas, has died, according to the report of The Dallas Voice.  Anable, 59, was a leading voice in the significant advances for LGBTQ people in the wake of the 2009 Raid on the Rainbow Lounge, Fort Worth’s largest gay and lesbian bar.  Anable, who found himself caught up in the swirl of events around the Raid, was a founding member of Fairness Fort Worth. On the night of June 28, 2009, he was working in the office of the Lounge when police and officers of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided the establishment, and began arresting patrons.  According to his own often-repeated testimony, Anable’s life underwent a significant change that fateful night.  As he said in the official trailer for the documentary film, Raid of the Rainbow Lounge, “Those officers took something away from me that I may never get back–they took my sense of safety and security. And they had no right to do that.” He was transformed from a bystander to a passionate activist, bringing his persuasive voice and considerable skills to bear on challenges facing gay folk in the aftermath of the historic Raid.

According to a press release from the Benbrook Police Department, Anable’s body was discovered in Dutch Branch Park at 8:26 a.m. Saturday morning. He died sometime late Friday or early Saturday morning, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The news spread swiftly on Saturday throughout the North Texas human rights advocacy community.

Rev. Carol West, Vice President of Fairness Fort Worth, and Jon Nelson, a co-founder of the organization, praised Anable in public statements and vowed to carry on the work that he had so wholeheartedly dedicated himself to accomplish.  Plans for a memorial observance of his life have not yet been released at the time of this writing.

Tom Anable utterly dedicated himself to change Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and North Texas into a better place for all people to live, especially the LGBTQ community.  A CPA by profession and training, he sold his practice in order to take up the tasks of advocacy full-time after the Rainbow Lounge Raid. Anable’s efforts most recently were centered on two major White House Conferences held on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington–the first on hate crimes and human trafficking, and the second on efforts to combat bullying in schools.  In the past month, he was avidly working to support the Welcoming Schools Program of the Human Rights Campaign as a model for the Fort Worth Independent School District.

In response to the news of his passing, Dr. Stephen Sprinkle, Professor at Brite Divinity School, and Founding Director of the Unfinished Lives Project, said, “I am saddened and grieved by the passing of Tom Anable.  No one has contributed more to the advancement of LGBTQ human rights in our area than he.  Tom was a consummate networker, tirelessly striving to make our world a better place.  As we miss him, the finest memorial to his memory will be to carry on his work until full equality is achieved for everyone in the Lone Star State.”

“Thomas Anable’s legacy will be a stronger, more confident, and much more politically savvy gay community,” Sprinkle went on to say.  “We are far better for his work, and closer to the goal of equality because of his labors.”

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Fairness Fort Worth, gay men, GLBTQ, Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQ, LGBTQ suicide, Rainbow Lounge Raid, Remembrances, Social Justice Advocacy, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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