Democrat apologizes for sharing meme of pro-trans gun-toting granny after Nashville shooting

Rep. Karlee Provenza
Rep. Karlee Provenza | YouTue/ Karlee Provenza

A Wyoming lawmaker has apologized after sharing what critics contend is a social media post encouraging violence in support of the trans-identified community less than a week after the Tennessee school shooting.

Democratic state Rep. Karlee Provenza, the House minority whip, shared a meme Friday on social media during the "Transgender Day of Visibility." The meme showed an elderly woman in an athletic jacket with the colors of the trans flag and a caption reading, "Auntie Fa says, Protect Trans Folks Against Facists & Bigots!"

"Auntie Fa" is believed to be a reference to Antifa, the left-wing activist network linked to attacks on pregnancy centers and churches in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June that overturned Roe v. Wade

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In addition to the Antifa reference, the meme bore the handle of Off Color Decals, an online store with the tagline "Merch and Firearms Accessories for the Left" on its website. 

Some of the store's products include a "reproductive rights sticker" of a Bible with upside-down crosses and the words, "I'm not in your little book club," a patch with a symbol of a uterus reading "DEATH TO ALL WHO STAND BETWEEN PEOPLE AND THEIR BODIES," and a black t-shirt which says, "NO GODS, NO MASTERS." 

Screenshot of discontinued Bible sticker with upside-down crosses for sale on the Off Color Decals website.
Screenshot of discontinued Bible sticker with upside-down crosses for sale on the Off Color Decals website. | Screenshot/

The posting came days after last Monday's deadly shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Six people, including three children, were killed by a female shooter who police say identified as a male.

After much pushback, Provenza issued a statement apologizing for "failing to recognize the potential impact of my actions on social media, which have contributed to inflammatory and distracting online discourse."

"Especially in these divisive times, we must always maintain focus on working toward collaborative solutions to the problems facing our state and its residents," she wrote. 

The lawmaker said she shared the meme to acknowledge "the sad truth that LGBTQ people and their allies need protection."

"I support the Second Amendment. I co-sponsored successful legislation this year to give non-violent felons their gun rights back," she stated. "I do not wish violence on anyone, but I believe that Americans have the right to defend themselves and their communities — and that right extends to all of us."

In response to her post, several users on social media called for Provenza's resignation. The Wyoming Freedom Caucus, a conservative Republican coalition of state lawmakers, called the post a "disgusting call for violence."

"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," the caucus tweeted. "The Wyoming Legislature's House Minority Whip should be ashamed of herself."

Speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives Albert Sommers issued a statement calling Provenza's post "inappropriate conduct for a member of the House of Representatives" and also one that "serves to divide our state."

"The implication that violence is necessary to solve political differences has no place in the Wyoming Legislature," Sommers, a Republican, stated. "I strongly and unequivocally condemn this type of attitude on social media or otherwise. As Speaker of the House, I have held that civility towards each other is the mechanism to ensure we can work together. Civility is the basic expectation of how a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives should conduct themselves, both on and off the floor of the House."

Sommers also condemned "threats to kill or harm Representative Provenza because of her social media post" as "reprehensible and unlawful."

Before posting the "Auntie Fa" meme, Provenza shared another undated post claiming The Satanic Temple (TST) "fights for abortion access through religious freedom" with a statement from TST calling last June's Dobbs decision "extremely distressing."

In December, she pledged to protect the trans community after the University of Wyoming revoked the right of a local church elder to demonstrate on campus after he specifically named a biologically male student who had been accepted to a sorority in a sign. 

The decision drew backlash from two dozen Republican lawmakers who argued that the school was violating the elder's Frist Amendment rights. 

Provenza appeared to take aim at what she called "religious freedom" and said such behavior was "harassment" and "violent and reckless."

"To claim the University should not make trans students safe while arguing harassment is religious freedom is violent and reckless," she wrote. "To trans people who are targeted by this hate, know that I love and support you and I will use my seat to protect and honor you. HD45 is OUR district and we will not allow hate to feel at home here."

Provenza did not respond to a request for comment from The Christian Post.

Following her election in 2022, Provenza, 33, was named as the Democratic minority whip in the Wyoming House for the 2023-24 session, making her the No. 2 Democratic lawmaker in the lower chamber. The state House is dominated by 57 Republicans to five Democrats, according to Ballotpedia

Last month, state lawmakers passed a bill that bans biological males from competing in girls' sports teams, making Wyoming the 19th to pass such legislation.

Earlier this year, a bill to ban sex change operations on children died in committee.

Last month, Wyoming passed legislation criminalizing the sale and prescription of abortion pills after Republican Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill dubbed the "first of its kind."

Sponsored by Republican Sen. Tim Salazar, SF 0109 makes it a felony to prescribe, sell or use "any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion." Violators face up to six months in prison and a $9,000 fine.

Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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