That’s the hashtag being used by a gaggle of activists petitioning to reinstate the clothing-optional policy at a popular gay-friendly bar in New Orleans.
For over 35 years, the Country Club has been popular haunt for gay travelers. It first opened in 1977 and boasts a large saline pool, hot tub, sauna, deck, garden, two bars, and a restaurant. But perhaps the club’s biggest selling feature has always been its clothing-optional policy. Until recently, that is.
Last summer, a woman claimed she was drugged and sexually and assaulted while relaxing there. As a result, the city’s Alcohol and Beverage Control Board offered the Country Club an ultimatum: Make its patrons cover up or lose its liquor license. Rather than put up a fight, bar owners caved to the request, much to their longtime customers’ disappointment.
Now a group of them have banded together to campaign for the Country Club to allow nudity again.
“We should be able to read, smoke, swim and drink naked,” Dillon Henderson told WGNO News. “To me they got rid of the policy, and I want it back.”
He continued: “The reasons why it went away are irrelevant to me. That’s why we thought why not organize a petition and see what kind of response we get and then go from there. We are hoping that people sign the petition and get involved on social media using the hashtag #nudenotlewd.”
Henderson and other supporters have been working to gather signatures for their petition by promoting it online as well as by canvasing in local parks.
“I’m not a nudist,” he said. “I’ve been there dozens of times, and I’ve only been naked a handful of times. It’s not about me running around naked. It’s the option and the principle here.”
So far, the Country Club has not released any comment on the campaign.