Leader of Texas LGBT Group Dies, Apparent Suicide
The leader and co-founder of the major LGBT rights group in the North Texas city of Ft. Worth was found dead Saturday at the age of 59. The cause of death appears to be from a self-inflicted gunshot wound according to local authorities, the North Texas newspaper Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Police found Thomas Anable, who was the president of Fairness Fort Worth, at Dutch Branch Park around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. Police received a call about a dead man in the park. When they arrived, they found Anable’s body. According to an investigation, the activist died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound but officials did not reveal any further information.
"Obviously, it was a tremendous shock and loss," Jon Nelson, one of the founders of Fairness Fort Worth, said. "We plan to continue with the group to solidify his legacy."
Anable was a witness to the 2009 Rainbow Lounge raid. Members of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Fort Worth police carried out the raid on the gay bar and many of the establishment’s customers were arrested for public intoxication and police claimed that patrons made sexual passes at them.
The raid was especially galling and received national attention because it was exactly on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City that ignited the modern gay rights movement. The police later apologized and made efforts to reach out to the local LGBT community.