A Wyoming Democratic representative’s meme went viral Sunday – in national conservative circles.
Rep. Karlee Provenza, D-Laramie, reportedly posted a meme Saturday depicting an older woman holding a rifle with a scope and the words “Auntie Fa Says protect trans folks against fascists & bigots!”
The Wyoming Freedom Caucus, a social-conservative group of state Republican delegates, copied the image to Twitter on Sunday.
“Not even one week after a radical transgender activist slaughtered 6 Christians, including 3 children, a Wyoming Legislator for HD45 shares a disgusting call for further violence,” reads the tweet. “The Wyoming Legislature’s House Minority Whip should be ashamed of herself.”
The caucus was referring to Audrey Hale, 28, a transgender man who gunned down and killed six people Monday at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.
Provenza did not respond Sunday to a Cowboy State Daily phone call and text message requesting comment.
Depends Whom You Ask
The tweet went viral quickly, and conservative Twitter personality Chaya Raichik, aka, “Libs of Tiktok,” re-tweeted the image just before noon Sunday.
Some commenters compared Provenza’s tweet to a call for violence, while others defended it as a reminder of the need for self-defense.
“Are Republicans now against using guns for self-defense?” asked Twitter user William Legate, on a different tweet of the image by Greg Price, communications director of the State Freedom Caucus Network.
Another Twitter user with the handle “@ChickStarr65” replied with a photo of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, aiming a rifle on a tripod with a scope while lying in a truck bed.
“Republicans set the example for this,” said the poster. “You don’t get to whine about it now.”
“Yes,” replied Price. “Posting a video of yourself shooting a gun at a target is definitely the same thing as calling for killing people who oppose mutilating children.”
The name “Auntie Fa” is a homonym for Antifa, which is a left-wing political protest group.
Rep. John Bear, R-Gillette, who is the chairman of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, told Cowboy State Daily on Sunday that he believes Provenza’s post was a “call for violence.” He said he believes that in part because of the reference to Antifa, which he called “a militant group that has destroyed entire cities in our country.”
Bear also implied that disciplinary action is warranted. He noted that Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ press secretary resigned this week for posting a photo of a woman holding a pistol in both hands with fingers on the trigger and the caption, “Us when we see transphobes.”
The press secretary’s meme came shortly after Hale’s shooting.
Bear said he has not heard of acts of physical violence against transgender people in Wyoming “by people outside that community.”
He said he does not hate transgender people and does not wish violence on them.
“Heck no,” said Bear. “I don’t wish violence on anyone.”
Transgender Day Of Visibility
President Joe Biden on Friday publicly observed Transgender Day of Visibility, by issuing a report on ways to support LGBTQ+ and intersex youth, especially transgender youth.
“On Transgender Day of Visibility, we celebrate the strength, joy, and absolute courage of some of the bravest people I know,” said Biden in a statement. “Today, across our country, MAGA extremists are advancing hundreds of hateful and extreme state laws that target transgender kids and their families… These attacks are un-American and must end.”
Wyoming last month codified a law banning males from girls’ interscholastic sports in grades seven through 12.
The Wyoming Legislature this year also attempted to pass a law punishing doctors for performing transgender-related treatments on kids, but that bill failed in the state House of Representatives after the Appropriations Committee proposed both limitations and Constitution-conforming changes to it.