Texas: Over 100 UTA students stand against transphobe Jeff Younger
Arlington, TX – On November 10, at the University of Texas at Arlington, over 100 students gathered in front of College Hall shouting “Transphobes go home!” and “This is what community looks like,” showing their outrage at the platforming of the transphobic bigot Jeff Younger. Younger had been invited to speak by Turning Point USA (TPUSA) following his primary defeat in the Texas House of Representatives race. Jeff Younger’s entire campaign was built on attempting to further criminalize trans healthcare for youth in the United States.
The Progressive Student Union (PSU) organized the rally and united with other groups from the community such as the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Young Democratic Socialists of America, the John Brown Gun Club and others.
In the days leading up to the event, the university had sent alerts to students reiterating that the university was “committed to free speech,” yet on the day of the event had erected police camera towers directly where the rally was to be held. UTA administrators showed their commitment to protecting the bigot while stripping away the rights of students speaking out against them.
While TPUSA had invited reactionaries from around the area, such as Kelly Neidert and Ali Jmal, in an attempt to intimidate those who sought to protest Yonger’s speech, the people clearly outnumbered them on the day of the rally and their feeble attempts to disrupt the rally were shouted down by rally participants. It is abundantly clear that the support of the community lay with PSU and that TPUSA has no support in this community, having to really on shipping in out-of-towners to bolster their meager numbers.
Speakers included lawyer Dan Sullivan of FRSO and several PSU members, who went on to say we need to support the trans community when it is under attack by violent rhetoric from those who say “trans people don’t exist.” A member of GSA spoke on how UTA’s diversity talking points feel hollow when they continue to prop up and defend both transphobes and transphobic organizations like TPUSA.
The event culminated in the occupying of the space of the front door of the building and PSU President Mark Napieralski banging on the door, leading the over 100 students in chants of “Jeff Younger, go home.” The rally was a resounding success, and the hope is that the university administration will think twice before approving hate speech on our campus.