According to messages received by multiple gay bars in Nashville, Tennessee, LGBT stands for Liberty, Guns, Beer and Trump.
Of course, the acronym actually stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender — the queer community that those bars serve.
While sparse on detail, the postcards are being seen as threatening by some, especially as the gun pictured is an AR-15, similar to a gun used in the massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.
“We live in a post-Pulse world in the LGBTQ community, especially in the bar scene,” Melvin Brown, owner of Stirrup Sports Bar told NBC. “To see somebody send a postcard that had a picture of the weapon used in one of the deadliest assaults in this nation’s history, and one that happened at an LGBTQ bar, and to send that image to LGBTQ bars, to me is not a coincidence.”
The sender of the card Stirrup received was identified only as “MAGA”, but the return address directed to a former location of LifeWay Christian Store that was sold in 2015 and demolished in fall of 2017.
LifeWay told Grit Post that they are in no way associated with these postcards. Though Google lists the 1032 Broadway return address of the “LGBT” mailer as belonging to LifeWay, their address was actually 1010 Broadway, and in fact both addresses are now an empty lot.
“LifeWay did not send those postcards, and would not send postcards like that,” said LifeWay Director of Corporate Communications Carol Pipes.
While Kris Mumford, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Nashville Police, confirmed there is no active investigation into the mailer, she stressed this was because no criminal complaint has, at present, been filed.
Mumford said the Church Street area of Nashville, where many of the bars are located (Stirrup, specifically), have had increased police presence since the postcards were brought to police attention. She added that police pride themselves on their strong ties to the LGBT community of Nashville. She also told Grit Post that there have been no instances of violence associated with the postcards as of this publication.
Grit Post’s attempts to contact owners of five gay bars in the Nashville area were unsuccessful as of this writing. The ACLU of Tennessee also did not respond to Grit Post’s request for comment as of this writing.
This article will be updated in the event of a response.
As for Stirrup, Brown was optimistic that the queer community would not be intimidated by these postcards.
“It will galvanize,” he said. “People will respond in ways that are positive and uplifting, because that’s the way we choose to live our lives.”
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.