WATCH: Protesters mock Riley Gaines, tear down signs ahead of Buffalo ‘Save Women’s Sports’ event
Students at the University at Buffalo are preparing for Riley Gaines’ arrival by organizing a protest, tearing down the event signs, and petitioning for 'LGBTQ+ Support.'
Ahead of the 'Save Women’s Sports' event, protesters created flyers mocking Gaines by depicting her with horns and in clown makeup. One flyer calls her a '[s]ore loser and transphobe.'
After Riley Gaines was violently attacked at San Francisco State University on Friday, Students at the University at Buffalo (UB), a State University of New York (SUNY) system campus, are preparing for Gaines’ arrival to their own campus by organizing a protest, tearing down the event signs, and petitioning for “LGBTQ+ Support.”
Gaines will speak at a Thursday evening event hosted by UB’s Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapter as part of her “Save Women’s Sports” lecture series. The sponsor for the event, the Leadership Institute, is the parent organization of Campus Reform.
After competing against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in 2022, Gaines began speaking publicly, advocating to keep biological men out of women’s sports. A recent article in The Spectrum, UB’s student newspaper, includes LGBTQ students who say that Gaines’ event will “make trans students feel unsafe.”
One of the organizers, according to The Spectrum, is the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) chapter at UB. In another effort to protest Gaines, a petition created by graduate students asks that UB administrators “stand up for its LGBTQ+ community and unequivocally affirm the rights of minoritized populations.”
The petition calls Gaines and Michael Knowles–another speaker protested by YDSA in early March–“transphobic” and demands that UB fund “a campus LGBTQ+ Center,” update students “on the progress of the Working Group for Transgender Inclusion,” and “take an intersectional approach to addressing racism, homophobia, sexism, queerphobia, and ableism” in campus DEI initiatives.
Ahead of the “Save Women’s Sports” event, protesters created flyers mocking Gaines by depicting her with horns and in clown makeup. One flyer calls her a “[s]ore loser and transphobe,” sharing a link to the petition and information about the protest outside of the event venue.
In a video obtained by Campus Reform, students tear down the signs put up by TPUSA to advertise the event.
Gaines’ hosts and Accuracy in Media (AIM), an organization that “expose[s] media bias, corruption, and public policy failings,” are countering the messages of protesters.
The painted bull, a UB tradition of painting a buffalo statue outside of the student center before sunrise, currently has a “WELCOME RILEY” message and is covered with TPUSA logos.
A moving billboard from AIM tells readers to “[b]ehave civilly when Riley Gaines speaks,” a reference to her treatment at San Francisco State University (SFSU). During her Apr. 6 appearance at SFSU, protesters stormed Gaines after the event, and a transgender woman allegedly hit her.
SFSU protesters trapped Gaines in the green room for nearly three hours, with one protester suggesting that Gaines could leave if she paid them.
AIM’s billboard tells UB to “[s]how SFSU what inclusivity really looks like.”
Campus Reform will continue to report the developing story of Riley Gaines’ event at the University at Buffalo. All relevant parties listed have been contacted for comment, and this article will be updated accordingly.