Terry Coffey, the Oregon man who shot to internet fame this week with his viral post criticizing Caitlyn Jenner, now has egg on his face after learning the photo of soldiers which he captioned as “real” American heroes is actually a plastic installment created by artist Mark Hogancamp, who, in 2000, was nearly beaten to death for being a cross-dresser.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the image, which depicts two World War II-era soldiers seemingly fighting in combat, was uploaded onto Facebook by Coffey, who said about Caitlyn Jenner, “As I see post after post about Bruce Jenner’s transition to a woman, and I hear words like, bravery, heroism, and courage, just thought I’d remind all of us what real American courage, heroism, and bravery looks like!”
The photo, along with Terry’s statement about Caitlyn, has been shared nearly one million times over social media. Wanting to give credit to the piece’s creator, Coffey searched the internet for its origins.
Turns out it is the work of artist Mark Hogancamp, who created the piece as a way of coping after he was beaten by five men who learned he was cross-dresser. Hogancamp awoke from a coma with no memory of his previous life, including his time spent in the U.S. Navy. Hogancamp’s art was the subject of the 2010 documentary Marwencol, and it’s from that film that his fans recognized his work.
The Huffington Post reported that Terry Coffey posted again on Facebook after learning the meaning behind the piece of work.
“The photo that accompanied my words yesterday to highlight ‘true bravery,’ was chosen from a quick image search. Just wanted something to fit my words. This afternoon, I wanted to find out who the photographer was, so I could credit his work. Why was he nearly beaten to death by 5 strangers? Because he was a cross-dresser. I could have chosen any one of hundreds of photos depicting bravery, but I chose this one. Do I think it was an accident? No, I don’t. What happened to this man was cruel, wrong, and unforgivable. Hate helps nothing Love wounds no one and God heals all.”
In his most recent statement, Terry Coffey did not address his criticisms of Caitlyn Jenner, although he did learn a beautiful lesson about irony. To date, Jenner hasn’t released any statement about the face off.
[Image Credit: Vanity Fair]