LGBTQ

'F*** These Fascists': UNT Students Protest Anti-Trans Candidate for Texas House

An anti-trans candidate was shouted down during an event at UNT.
An anti-trans candidate was shouted down during an event at UNT. Photo by Brielle French on Unsplash
University of North Texas students on Wednesday shouted down a speech by Jeff Younger, an anti-trans Texas House candidate. Chants of “fuck these fascists” were filmed by attendees, and video of the incident spread quickly on social media.

Younger has a transgender daughter but continuously misgenders her, losing custody in 2019 after a widely publicized court battle, according to VICE. The GOP Flower Mound candidate advanced to the May primary runoff for House District 63 in North Texas.
UNT’s event was organized by its Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter. There, Younger planned to warn of the “threat of leftist ideology” and espouse the “utmost importance of conservative social issues.” Instead, jeers from the protesters drowned Younger out, with students pounding on desks while he stood at the front of the classroom.

A UNT student who shared video of the event told VICE that up to six students attended in support of Younger, but at least 50 were there in protest. Younger claimed “there’s no such thing as a transgender person,” which is blatantly false, in addition to misgendering a UNT student and his own daughter.

Dozens of students demonstrated outside following the event and continued to chant “fuck Jeff Younger” and “protect trans kids,” according to VICE. Eventually, campus police and highway patrol in riot gear appeared.

Another video showed an officer’s car accelerating toward protesters, one of whom later told authorities that they'd been struck by the vehicle, Denton police confirmed to independent journalist Steven Monacelli. (The department also reportedly misgendered the victim.)
Soon, conservative outlets ran their own stories on the protest, and right-wing reporter Andy Ngo began tweeting about the event. YCT’s UNT chapter also tweeted that one of the event’s organizers, Kelly Neidert, had to be “evacuated” and “hidden in a janitor’s closet.”

In February, Neidert had circulated video showing her arguing with another UNT student over anti-trans flyers she was printing at the library. She claimed the student had a “meltdown” and “stormed out of the library screaming at us,” although her video appeared to contradict that narrative.
Some have been upset with the way UNT has chosen to address these recent incidents.

In a statement Thursday, UNT President Neal Smatresk seemed to question the narrative surrounding the previous evening’s events. “We have always been a passionate community that stands up for our ideals, but last night’s behavior by some individuals is not reflective of the UNT I know and love,” Smatresk wrote.

UNT's University Program Council, meanwhile, issued a statement in support of the trans community: "We stand with the trans, non-binary and gender fluid students within our organization as well as the student body," they wrote.
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Simone Carter was a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter

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