Around 400 protesters gathered outside the University of Houston’s Student Center to protest against conservative commentator Matt Walsh’s public speaking event on Oct. 13.
In addition to speaking, Walsh also previewed his latest Daily Wire documentary, “What is a Woman?” which focuses on gender ideology, with around 435 in attendance, according to campus police.
Throughout his career, Walsh has espoused controversial statements against the LGBTQ+ community and explicitly disparaged the transgender community. Most recently, he campaigned against hospitals providing gender-affirming health care for transgender children.
So protestors, including students, local activists, and LGBTQ allies, wanted to clarify their opposition to Walsh and his supporters.
Rallying cries, including “Love your neighbor,” “UH, no place for hate,” and “trans lives matter,” were all heard throughout the night while attendees wore pink and blue flags for the transgender community.
As one of the most diverse universities in the U.S., student protestors said Walsh’s anti-LGBTQ commentary is against the college’s mission and values.
“The majority of this campus believes what he’s saying is wrong and find it offensive,” one student said.
Community organizer Jade Dugan also said Walsh’s previous statements should be considered hate speech and shouldn’t have a platform on the diverse campus.
“UH should not be providing a platform for these kinds of people,” Dugan said. “More broadly, we’re calling on UH to start the immediate protection against abuse and harassment of trans students. We’re calling on the stop of Greg Abbott’s attack on trans youth. And even more broadly, trans-inclusive Medicare For All is our big goal.”
The University said the speaker was permitted to speak on campus under the “Freedom of Expression Policy on campus.”