Syracuse prof's petition blames conservative speaker for contributing to trans suicidality

Sara Stockton, an expert on transgenderism, was invited by Syracuse College Republicans to give a talk that was met with strong opposition.

One university professor who specializes in 'trans/queer experiences in family and couple relationships' accused Stockton of ‘hate speech.’

An event hosted by Syracuse University’s College Republicans featuring Sara Stockton, a therapist who deals in transgenderism issues, triggered intense backlash on campus.  

The talk was scheduled for Nov. 29 and the event description highlighted how Stockton “was a featured perspective in the hit documentary ‘What is a Woman’ where she used her experience and expertise in the industry to shed light on the realities of ‘gender affirming care’ for minors,” according to a post on the Syracuse College Republicans’ Instagram page.

The event was meant to give Stockton a venue to share “her experience with the school,” as described in the Instagram post.

[RELATED: WATCH: Free speech event venue hijacked by protesters]

Stockton’s planned appearance, however, triggered widespread opposition. Deborah Coolhart, a professor and head of a transgender advocacy group at Syracuse University, said of the event: “It’s completely unethical, and she’s not speaking to therapists or trans people, so the only purpose of her presentation is to spread hate speech,” according to to The Daily Orange.

Coolhart, who specializes in “trans/queer experiences in family and couple relationships” is a “national speaker regularly presenting on working with LGBTQ youth, their families, and school systems,” according to to her university biography page.

Coolhart also started a petition opposing the event that garnered 1,600 signatures. The petition charged that “[Stockton’s] perspective is directly contributing to harm for the transgender community, including contributing to suicidality,” and that “by hosting this speaker, Syracuse University is supporting the spread of hate speech.”

Syracuse University’s Student Association also denied funding for Stockton’s talk because of her alleged “transphobic rhetoric in the past.” However, the College Republicans of America then provided funding, thereby allowing the event to go forward, according to Campus Reform correspondent and secretary of Syracuse College Republicans John Parker. 

An order from the Department of Public Safety as well as concerns for the participants’ safety forced the organizers to change the venue, as reported by The Daily Orange.

Protestors also turned up outside of the event venue, chanting and holding signs, and a loud bang briefly disrupted Stockton’s talk, as written in The News House.

[RELATED: ‘Get out now’: Violence erupts at the University of Pittsburgh over Michael Knowles event]

Not everyone supported Coolhart’s petition or the Student Association’s actions. Daniel Idfresne, a Syracuse student and Campus Reform correspondent, slammed the Student Association and the school in a statement.

“My university’s student assembly’s horrendous actions against College Republicans are a vital example of the [veiled] bias against conservatism that goes on in Syracuse and higher education across the nation,” Idfresne wrote. 

“At face value, Syracuse University claims to be a bastion of free speech—it’s even written on the side of its communications school, Newhouse,” he said. “Yet, when the time comes to stand by the First Amendment, my university’s so-called ‘student leaders’ do not hesitate to [forbid] any speech challenging the Radical Left’s views on gender and sexuality.”

Campus Reform has reached out to Syracuse University and Coolhart for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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