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Controversial t-shirt gains national attention

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 12:01 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - A t-shirt has become a popular item at the Eagle’s Nest Bar. So much so that they’ve sold out and have patrons asking for more.

“All they did was ignite a huge demand for that shirt. If I had more, I could sell more, but I’m not going to do it because I gave her my word it would stop to exist. But i”m a capitalist, and I give people what they want. That’s how I do my business,” said Ray Bereziuk, Owner of Eagle’s Nest Bar.

In the equality state of Wyoming, the official motto is wild and free. But freedom for who?

The controversial shirt has not sat well with all community members. The LGBTQ community is sounding the alarm, saying statements like this incite violence for their community.

“This shirt tells us something about Cheyenne, and it tells us that there are parts of our community that are not welcoming to LGBTQ folks. That when we describe Cheyenne as a welcoming place, that some of us experience that welcome, differently,” said Rev. Hannah Villnave, Board member of Wyoming Equality.

“Its a fictional novelty shirt thats been misconstrued, taken on a different identification,” said Bereziuk.

“We will not play into that story line that we are just another hateful rural area. We are a vibrant welcoming engaged community who willing to stand up and say that hate has no home in our town,” said Villnave.

The owner has agreed to sell the shirt no longer but has referred someone still may choose to do it themselves.

“Talked to the representative of Wyoming Equality, she expressed her displeasure with the shirt. I told her I would stop producing it and it would be the end of it because she was offended. I agreed to it and complied with it.”

Wyoming Equality wants to remind everyone that the LGBTQ has been a part of Wyoming’s history and citizens since the beginning.

" If you feel afraid or threatened by the LGBTQ community, I would say we’re your neighbors, we’re your friends, we’re your family...We’re just here to make our community a better place and to enjoy it for what it is, alongside you. So don’t be afraid; we don’t bite, reach out for a conversation,” said Nillnave.

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