All Rights reserved
A Florida real estate agency is under fire after an attempt to warn against showing homes to transgender homebuyers.
RE/MAX Downtown Fort Myers has now apologized for a since-deleted Facebook post.
The original message, according to the Fort Myers News-Press, read, "Please all real estate agents take the time to make sure you know who you are showing homes to. Is that Jethrine or Jethro?"
The message appeared with a picture of Beverly Hillbillies star Max Baer Jr. portraying Jethrine Bodine, twin sister to main character Jethro Bodine.
The message was taken by many as advice to be careful about showing properties to trans clients.
Critics also noted the real estate market was the same one where a trans woman of color, Bee Love Slater, was brutally murdered last month. Slater was at least the 18th trans woman killed in the U.S. so far this year.
"Transphobia is not joke fodder," Sarah Emprimo Schwartz wrote on Facebook. "This is absolutely disgusting! If you're not local, a trans woman was very recently murdered in an exceptionally horrific fashion in the area this company services. Additionally, it is Pride week for this area as well."
The post was taken down, and now the entire Facebook page for RE/MAX Downtown Fort Myers appears to be down as well.
Vic Tabarrini, the agent with the firm who posted the message, publicly apologized for the post and said it was misinterpreted.
"I'm really sorry that this happened," he told the News-Press. "I apologize for offending anyone. It was not my intent."
He explained in an apology on the Facebook page that many agents have the ability to post there without running messages through any kind of vetting. He asked consumers not hold every agency with RE/MAX responsible.
"I take full responsibility for the post. My intention with the post had more to do with the safety of realtors, since there are many realtors being attacked during showings currently," the post read. "I now see that I made a poor decision in using that meme which is from the Beverly Hillbilly's, as the picture for what I was trying to express. I wasn't sensitive in this situation to how this could be misconstrued."
He added "I support equal rights for all, and again, I am very sorry."