Anti-Transgender Sign Is ‘Just Satire,’ Lockport Business Owner Says Again
A Lockport business owner has posted an anti-transgender message on his marquee sign, and it’s not the first time.
LOCKPORT, IL — For the second time in as many years, Will County Loan Co. is facing controversy over an anti-transgender message on its marquee sign. The pawn shop, located at 1111 E. Ninth St. in Lockport, has drawn anger from some residents with a sign reading, “Help Wanted – Must Be Female From Birth.” The owner of the business, Richard Tisch, said his sign is “just satire.”
“I don’t care if [people] believe it or not, it’s humor,” Tisch said in a phone call with Patch. “I’m not even hiring.”
In 2016, Tisch called another anti-transgender sign message satire. In that case, the sign read “Outhouse In The Rear For Transgenders.” While Tisch is once again facing controversy for his messages, he said he doesn’t hate transgenders.
“I have nothing against transgenders, queers, gays, whatever you want to call them,” he said. He stated that people have shared they are offended, but he is also offended.
“I’m offended because, as a taxpayer, I am paying for people who want to get a sex change in the military,” Tisch said. “That’s what I object to.”
President Trump tweeted in July that he was banning transgender individuals from serving in the military. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” Trump tweeted on July 26. No public steps have been taken to direct the Pentagon on implementing this policy.
Former generals and admirals denounced Trump’s tweets with a statement of their own and challenged the notion that transgender service members put an undue financial burden on the military’s medical costs.
As for Tisch’s sign, he said that the response he has received has been more positive than negative.
“I would say that 80 percent of the calls I’ve gotten have been positive,” he said, noting that he has received calls from other states as far as New York.
“I will not take it down until I’m ready to take it down,” Tisch said. “I have a right to say whatever I want to say.”
In a Yelp review for the business, one reviewer said they spoke to the owner of the business regarding the sign and found it “offensive on many levels.”
“There are positive things in the world that could be posted on the sign instead of this,” the reviewer stated.
Tisch reiterated that what he objects to is paying for the “elected surgery” of a military person’s sex change. “It’s $110,000, and that’s my tax dollars.”
“I don’t care what people do; if gays want to play around with each other,” Tisch said. “When they make me pay for their private activities, I object. It’s not fair.”
As of Aug. 16, the sign remains.
Photo provided by Valerie Blanchette.