OAT TPUSA Counterprotest
OAT members and supporters outnumber TPUSA members (image right, uncensored). This photo was taken before the event started; by the end, 80+ OAT supporters were present.
On March 22, more than 80 trans, queer, and allied University of South Carolina students and Columbia residents took action to disrupt and challenge the hateful “Talk about Transgenderism” event that the fascist student group Turning Point USA was hosting in Russell House at USC. So many community members showed up in defense of trans rights that the event had to be moved from a smaller room into the Russell House Theater. Trans people and their allies outnumbered TPUSA members by five to one. TPUSA was not allowed to hold their event in peace. Trans, queer people, and their allies were able to refute hateful ideas and make sure that TPUSA was unable to spread their rhetoric without opposition. At one point, former USC TPUSA President Dylan Baldassare became so frustrated, he had to distance himself from his own event. Nobody was hurt or arrested and the event proceeded peacefully. OAT SC showed its strength as a coalition, mobilizing this effort with only two days’ notice. We look forward to doing more in the future to keep trans and queer people in the state of South Carolina safe from transphobia wherever it rears its head. We protect us.