Transgender councilwoman Tiesa Meskis was caught on camera arguing with Don Sucher, the owner of a Star Wars merchandise shop, over a transphobic sign posted outside Sucher’s Sucher & Sons Star Wars Shop in Washington's Aberdeen.
The two argued for over five minutes on July 5 over the sign which read: "If you are born with a d**k, you are not a chick."
In the video, Meskis is heard yelling: "Trans women are women. That sign is bulls**t," to which Sucher responds: "You're nuts. I'm telling you that as a man, that's bulls**t."
According to local channel King 5, Sucher claimed he was exercising his freedom of speech, and asked anyone who didn’t like his views to leave his shop.
The argument comes after CeCe Telfer, a transwoman, was barred from competing in the US Olympic trials for not meeting hormonal requirements, and after the arrest of Chris Chan, a popular trans activist and comic author. Chan was arrested for repeatedly raping his elderly mother, who suffers from dementia.
Meskis, who describes herself as: "I have been working with just about every aspect of computing and networking since 1988. Over the years I have worked for myself, small companies and larger corporations covering a vast variety of IT and business tasks," had a hard time convincing Sucher to see reason.
When she saw the sign, Meskis told Sucher: "We are people. We are who we are and we all want to be accepted in our community."
To which Sucher stated: "I don't give a s**t about feelings anymore. Do you think I care about some s**t feeling? Absolutely not!"
Meskis told King 5 that she had received support following the video going viral.
Sucher stated that the sign was still displayed in the shop, adding that he has been receiving support over the incident.
Meskis told the Washington Examiner that she agrees Sucher has the right to place whatever signs he wants and express himself, but that she just want him to do it in a way that is less offensive to the people of the transgender community.
"What he wrote there was so demeaning and so dismissive of who I am, who any trans woman is," she said: "We are people. We are who we are, and we all want to be accepted in our community."