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Local News

Lockport pawnshop owner takes down anti-transgender sign

Cites backlash, reaction as too time consuming

The owner of a Lockport pawnshop has taken down a controversial sign and replaced it with "cash 4 old marbles."
The owner of a Lockport pawnshop has taken down a controversial sign and replaced it with "cash 4 old marbles."

A Lockport pawnshop owner has taken down an anti-transgender sign he put up in front of his business.

Richard Tisch, owner of Will County Loan Co. on Ninth Street in Lockport, spelled out “Help wanted: Must be female from birth” on a changeable letter sign in front of his pawnshop.

But after gaining the attention of some passers-by and various news outlets, including The Herald-News, Tisch decided Thursday to take it down.

“The backlash from people has been driving me crazy for two days,” Tisch said Thursday afternoon. “I thought the articles would clarify things.”

The sign now reads, “Cash 4 old marbles.”

Online business reviews have been posted in the last week condemning the business as anti-transgender.

Tisch maintains that most of the reaction has been positive, but there has been too much reaction to effectively run his business.

“Over 80 percent of the feedback has been positive, but I just can’t spend time on it. I gotta run a business,” Tisch said. “I don’t have time to deal with it.”

Tisch said Wednesday that the “satirical” sign was meant to prove a point, and he is offended that his tax dollars pay for the sex changes of military personnel. Tisch said he has nothing against transgender people.

“I don’t care what transgenders do,” Tisch said. “If you want to have a sex change, that’s fine. I don’t want to pay for it.”

Tisch said again Thursday that it’s satire.

“It’s quite clear, it was clear on the news that it was satire,” Tisch said. “It’s a joke, just like I’ve been doing for 25 years.”

Will County Loan Co. often has signs posted that are out of the ordinary for a business. Tisch wasn’t looking to hire, though.

“I had no intention of hiring anybody. It’s just family that works here,” Tisch said.

Operators of Heritage Jewelers, which rents from Tisch, said Wednesday it does not share the same views, and that people sometimes leave poor reviews of their business after mistaking Tisch’s signs as their’s.

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