Fourth Estate Staff
Oklahoma City, OK, United States (4E) – A popular Oklahoma City restaurant put up a sign against transgender customers and it received backlash from many.
Transgender bathroom bills in different states such as North Carolina and Texas received a flurry of criticisms and concern from many especially the supporters of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community. This is the first time such move took place in Oklahoma City but reports said the sign has been up for 10 months now. In the sign, the owner wrote they do not have transgender bathroom so customers should be careful to not get caught in the wrong one.
The owner of the restaurant called Steak and Catfish Barn, Bob Warner, said the sign is not at all discriminatory or threatening like what others believe. He said the intent of the sign is to protect not only his property but his customers. Warner explained, “We have a lot of redneck guys that come in here, truck drivers and everything. They`re big husky guys, and I said ‘Man alive! If their wife or their little girl walked in that bathroom and a man followed them in there, I wouldn’t have a restaurant.”
Warner also said his transgender patrons are still welcome to use his bathroom but they have to be dressed appropriately. The restaurant owner did not elaborate on what he meant with appropriate clothing.
Although the sign has been up for the past 10 months, a transgender woman in the area, Paula Schonauer, said she was made aware of it just recently. Troy Stevenson, with Freedom Oklahoma, said the sign made him feel disturbed as it implied threat of potential violence against someone who will use the bathroom that does not correspond to his or her biological gender.
Schonauer continued to say she hoped the incident will be an opportunity to show what transgender people deal with every day. It is unclear if police will be involved in the future in case someone complains about the sign at the restaurant.
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