Warr Acres American Legion Under Fire For Controversial Sign

Saturday, August 5th 2017, 11:02 pm
By: News 9

The American Legion post in Warr Acres is under fire for what many are calling a transphobic sign posted outside.

Friday was the first reported sighting of a message on the marquee that read, "If Chelsey (sic) Manning is missing, will he be on a carton of half and half?"

That side of the marquee was wiped clear before Saturday's weekly dance at American Legion Post 12, but the message lives on online, and members at the club Saturday evening could not say who was responsible for it.

Transgender veteran Paula Sophia Schonauer, who posed next to the sign minutes before its removal, points out famed document leaker Chelsea Manning is no longer a "he."

“They were using language that is often used to oppress transgender people by referring to Chelsea in a masculine way using masculine pronouns, and then making the joke about Chelsea not being fully who she is in congruence with her identity,” the Freedom Oklahoma member said.

Schonauer interprets the term "half and half" to mean Manning is not fully man nor woman.

A group of members at the post, however, told News 9 they have no knowledge of the message's presence.

“Sorry. Don’t know anything about it,” one member said.

When asked about their stance on President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on transgender people in the military, the same member said, “That’s a decision for DOD not us.”

An administrator for the local Post's Facebook page wrote on Saturday, “All of you folks complaining about the sign outside the building have the wrong Post. We are Post 1340. You are messaging the wrong folks.”

The address listed on that Facebook page matches the address on a sign next to Schonauer in her photo.

The national American Legion president published a letter after President Trump’s tweet that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military, denouncing discrimination of any kind and supporting human rights.

The Warr Acres branch may not have received that memo.

“It shows the environment that those tweets created,” Schonauer said.

After leaving a message at the front desk of the facility, News 9 has not gotten a response from the local organization president.