Activists Riot during Campus Speech, Assault Father Who Was Denied Custody of Son after Contesting Transgender Diagnosis

Rioters at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton disrupted a speech delivered Wednesday night by Jeffrey Younger, a father, and now Texas House candidate, who recently lost a child custody battle with his ex-wife after contesting his nine-year-old son’s transgender diagnosis.

Invited to speak at a campus lecture hall by the Young Conservatives of Texas UNT chapter, Younger was about to share the story of how the Texas judiciary had stripped him of his right to advocate on behalf of his child. Then, far-left activists, some of whom are believed to be affiliated with the North Texas offshoot of Antifa, hijacked the presentation, shouting Younger down and eventually forcing him evacuate before punching him as he left the building.

Filling nearly every seat, the protestors bellowed “F*** these fascists” repeatedly for over half an hour, throwing up middle fingers, slamming the tables, and indiscriminately screaming, creating a cacophony to prevent Younger from speaking. One activist drew a Soviet Union hammer and sickle on the whiteboard.

“The fact that I want to maintain traditional social norms and won’t accept the arbitrary identities that people assign themselves in their mind is fascist,” Younger told National Review.

Undeterred, Younger stood at the front of the room for the duration of the tantrum, egging on the protesters to be “louder” in an attempt to “tire them out” and hopefully get a word in. “C’mon communists!,” he said. One female activist spat on Younger, he claims, because he refused to use preferred gender pronouns.

Eventually the group quieted, as some attendees became embarrassed by their behavior. He began talking, trying to appeal to the leftists on the grounds that his decision to speak at UNT was radical, like them, because he was forbidden to do so by a court-imposed gag order barring him from public political discussion.

“And because I didn’t follow it, they took my children away from me,” Younger told the audience, which erupted into mocking cheers and applause.

The referenced gag order, which Younger believes is “totally illegal and unconstitutional,” bans him from speaking publicly about gender ideology.

“The Democrats in Dallas County got a judge to issue a gag order that prohibits me from talking about political topics. Lifetime permanent ban from social media. I can’t make any videos, interviews, radio appearances, blog posts, any type of broadcast discussing cisgender, transgender, gender identity, etc.,” he told National Review.

“I can’t even talk about my children with people. If they can do that to me in Texas, they can do that to any citizen in Texas,” he added.

Younger is running for the Texas House of Representatives on a conservative “restoration” platform, promising to outlaw sex-reassignment surgeries for children and “democratize” academia in the state by making K–12 and university administrators and professors subject to elections. He hopes this proposal will weed out the illiberal people who are making Texas education increasingly ideologically intolerant.

In recent months, Texas has become embroiled in the transgender debate. After classifying gender-transition surgery as “child abuse,” Governor Greg Abbott ordered the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents and doctors who enable such procedures for children.

Abbott’s action followed a special opinion from Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, the longest in the state’s history, Younger said, which established the obligation of the state to protect children’s biological reproductive organs and capability.

“It finds that children have a fundamental liberty interest in procreation. It’s as fundamental as freedom of speech, petitioning the government for grievances, etc. and therefore no parent can take it away. Just as the parent cannot permanently remove the ability of a child to speak, a parent cannot sterilize their children,” Younger told National Review.

Younger never got the chance to get to that part of his speech, however, because of the leftists’ disruption.

As the situation at UNT deteriorated, police evacuated Younger, as well as the student event organizer Kelly Neidert, from the building. They exited outside to confront a swarm of about 500 black-clad activists screeching expletives like “F*** you, Kelly!” One individual punched Younger in the gut, he said and Neidert confirmed. When police escorted Younger to a car and drove him away, the activists chased the car down the street, trying to open the door and “pull me out of the car,” he said.

People in the crowd held signs that read “Protect Trans Kids,” “Trans Rights Are Human Rights,” “Shut the F*** Up Jeff,” and “Your Hate Speech Has No Home Here,” among other crude slogans. They also waved pride and transgender flags.

Neidert, who founded YCT at UNT, said she was harassed and hunted down by activists.

After leaving the event location, police officers hurried Neidert to a nearby building, where they hid in a locked janitor’s closet as protestors ran through the hallways, “shrieking like animals,” she noted.

“I’ve received a lot of threats. I’ve never been scared until last night in that janitor’s closet. I think the officer did have the handle on his holster,” she said. “I didn’t know if I would make it out of there.”

After the event was advertised around campus last week, Neidert was doxxed and received death threats. One student saw her printing flyers in the school library and started cursing her out, she claimed. A petition circulated to expel Neidert from UNT, collecting 17,000 signatures just last week alone.

Neidert believes that some UNT students participated in the unrest and may be members of the local Antifa. She said she recognized one student at the protest who she had previously seen protesting at the conservative club’s pro-life prayer vigil last year wearing clothing adorned with the Antifa emblem. UNT staff did not immediately respond to request for comment.

While Younger’s lecture was seemingly delivered in vain, he said that his ultimate intention was to “show the world who leftists really are.” He told the professor in the room, “You have failed these students.”

“Imagine if a professor is delivering a lecture on something contentious like slavery and the students stand up and take control of the whiteboard and say terrible things about the professor. All of them would be expelled. Why are those standards of decorum not enforced for conservative speakers?” he asked.

As for the loss of custody of his son, James, the courted ruled that it was because Younger “failed to timely make the payments of child support, medical support and interest as ordered and only paid his past due support after the motion for enforcement was filed.” While his wife maintained that the child’s gender identity was tangential to the custody case, Younger argued that it was central to it and that he was denied custody because of his unwillingness to accommodate his son’s gender dysphoria, which he said the child’s mother manufactured.

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