An Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, restaurant owner defended himself after he posted a controversial sign regarding transgender bathrooms at his establishment.
The sign at the Steak and Catfish Barn in Oklahoma City was up for around 10 months before transgender woman Paula Schonauer became aware of it.
"I was disturbed," she told KFOR. "It was really a let down."
The sign informed patrons that the restaurant didn't have a transgender bathroom, and that people shouldn't get "caught in the wrong one."
Schonauer said she felt as though the last line of the sign was particularly troubling.
"That sign has an implied threat and a threat that’s very real to me," she said.
"You’ve got this sign implying a threat of potential violence against somebody for going to pee. That’s not the Oklahoma standard. That’s not what it means to be American. That’s just wrong," Freedom Oklahoma spokesman Troy Stevenson said.
Owner Bob Warner said his sign was not meant as a threat, but rather a warning about certain customers.
"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," he said, adding that the sign was meant to protect customers of all genders.
Schonauer, however, wasn't buying that the sign was meant to protect her.
"It’s an opportunity to show what transgender people deal with on a daily basis, unfortunately, but it’s also a time to put out the word and rally our support," Schonauer said.
Many readers agreed with the restaurant owner's right to put the sign up.
"Whatever happened to if you don't like or agree with a place, we silently don't go there anymore, eat there anymore, shop there anymore? Nowadays, not only do they want us to agree with it, they want us also to say what they're doing is OK!" one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.
"Good for you sticking to your sign your a family restaurant and would put up the same sign and stick by it and agree so all the way protecting little girls, teen ladies and women its a good policy every restaurant should have a sign up like this and stand behind it," another wrote.
"Thank you for making one very important point here, namely this is an extremely small minority of our population making demands on the majority, which disapproves of having their women folk endangered by men who chose to use women's bathrooms - which has in fact happened in NC. Anybody endangering my daughters or granddaughters won't live to regret their actions!!" another added.