WATCH: Leftists protest Matt Walsh speech to full house on 'Why Men Don't Belong in Women's Sports'
Walsh addressed a standing-room-only crowd at the Atlanta university with his speech 'Why Men Don't Belong in Women's Sports.'
The event took place only two days before the start of the NCAA Division I swimming championships.
Protests erupted at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) on Monday before Daily Wire host Matt Walsh took the stage for his "Why Men Don't Belong in Women's Sports" speech.
Walsh addressed a standing-room-only crowd at the Atlanta university.
"Thank you for being here, ladies, gentlemen, gentle-thems," Walsh opened to the capacity-filled 300-person crowd.
Lia Thomas will be at the NCAA swimming championships at Georgia Tech in two weeks to appropriate more medals from the women. I’ll be speaking there the same week to explain why it’s wrong. March 14. See you there.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) March 3, 2022
The event, which was sponsored by Turning Point USA (TPUSA) and the Leadership Institute, took place only two days before the start of the NCAA Division I swimming championships. The timing, apparently, unnerved a group of outraged students who organized a protest and attempted to disrupt the event.
The Leadership Institute is the parent organization of Campus Reform.
"We're just protesting because transphobia is a real problem at Georgia Tech and in the world," one protester told Campus Reform. "These people, Matt Walsh, and those who support him, are examples of threats to the safety of trans individuals at Georgia Tech and everywhere else."
The protester continued, "We're here to tell them that this kind of thinking is not welcome at Georgia Tech. We condone supporting trans individuals and allowing them to thrive and not ideologies that harm them."
As attendees awaited entry, a handful of outraged students organized a small protest outside the venue to harass the line. Attendees were verbally harassed as protesters paraded up and down the sidewalk yelling conservative ideology "kills children."
Campus Reform was on the scene as the event unfolded.
"Gender Affirming Health Care Prevents Suicide," "F*** Fascism," "Trans Rights Are Human Rights," and "Bigots Go Home" were featured slogans on protesters' signs.
Chaos erupted when the protest approximately tripled in size — according to Campus Reform's on-the-ground estimate — while Walsh was speaking, as students piled on the hilltop outside the venue chanting trans-affirming cheers and accusing Walsh of not being able to swim.
In videos taken by Campus Reform, the protesters can be heard screaming and chanting a variety of slogans while holding signs and waving a transgender flag.
"Trans athletes are sexy," one protester screamed.
"Matt can't swim," and "trans athletes are welcome here" were repetitive chants. Longer rhymes like "Hey hey, ho ho, transphobes have got to go," and "When trans rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back" were also echoed.
Most protesters refused to talk to Campus Reform, spreading the word among the group that the outlet is "right-wing news" and to not engage.
One male protester, however, shared his thoughts with Campus Reform, stating, "I don't stand for transphobia. I don't agree with transphobia. I preach authenticity, and I believe that your gender identity is part of your authenticity."
He shared that the protesters were unwilling to listen to Walsh and go into the event because Republicans "aren't down to listen."
"When it comes to Republicans, Republicans are more argumentative. Republicans are more 'my way or the highway,'" he said. "Republicans are not down to actually understand and see from the side of the community- the LGBT community."
Despite the chaos, the event went ahead. Walsh spoke for thirty minutes with time allotted for a Q&A section.
The harassment continued, however, as attendees filed out of the venue. The now-tripled crowd shouted derogative phrases including "F*** these fascists."
But attendees were not deterred.
"Matt Walsh talked about things that people need to hear," Peyton Bell told Campus Reform after the event. "They're gonna accept the truth."
In response to the protest, Bell called it "funny and sad."
Max Mobley, another event attendee, told Campus Reform that the difference between the event attendees and the protesters may be a "miscommunication."
"I think that there's just, like, fundamental differences between what people like Matt Walsh think and what he has to say and what those facts are, and what these people who are protesting now are kind of thinking," Mobley said.
Mobley continued to explain that communication about important issues should be encouraged among those who disagree.
"I think that is there is a little bit better dialogue and a little bit better understanding between the two sides, then I think that everyone would, kind of, agree because there's one side that is more indisputable," he added.
A protest also occurred inside the venue.
Campus Reform captured footage of a protester climbing onto the table shortly after the event began.
The protester then unveiled a poster associating Walsh with furries, a slang term for people who enjoy "anthropomorphic animal costumes." The image showed a "furry" dressed in pink high-knee socks with a caption reading "Matt Walsh Watches FemBoy Furry Porn."
Security escorted the poster-waving student outside of the venue.
Protests were anticipated after two students approached the Turning Point USA recruitment table Monday afternoon, showing off the furry poster as well as a warning flyer bearing the TPUSA logo.
The sign warned students that "Pedophiles are using this symbol to identify each other. Be aware the next time you see this symbol."
Over the preceding weekend, social media posts had spread outrage from left-wing organizations. For example, the Georgia Tech Lesbian Mafia issued a call to action by posting the event flyer and demanding Walsh "off our campus."
Additionally, the GT Pride Alliance organized a counter-event to "affirm and support trans identities" by "making and distributing flyers [and] buttons" in the building across from the venue.
Atlanta Antifascists promised to lend a hand to any counter-protesters organizing to disrupt the event.
Heads-up: transphobic propagandist Matt Walsh is speaking on GA Tech campus tomorrow evening (3/14), in an event sponsored by the far-right Leadership Institute and Turning Point USA.
If Tech students are organizing a counter, we'd be happy to boost -- reach out. pic.twitter.com/CV5WTTSARE
— Atlanta Antifascists (@afainatl) March 14, 2022
Walsh responded to the account and invited members of the organization to attend and "offer a coherent definition of the word 'women'."
I invite Antifa to come to the event and offer a coherent definition of the word "woman" https://t.co/BBZdlOPoai
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) March 14, 2022
Despite the threat, no Antifa action was recorded.
Posters taped on the venue before the event read "Good Thing She's Not A Woman." The flyers were taken down by students.
Off-campus, the debate over transgender participation has been hotly contested throughout the 2021-2022 academic year as Thomas continuously made waves in the pool, and in the sport.
Headlines began to break after Thomas made a revolutionary performance at the Zippy Invitational meet in December. Thomas cruised through the competition, hitting his stride to win the 200- and 500-yard freestyle, and shattered the 1650-freestyle race by a 40-second margin.
Following outrage from parents, swimmers, and spectators, alike, the NCAA adopted a new transgender policy that allotted each sport to establish standards for allowing transgender athletes to compete based on "gender ideology."
USA Swimming announced that the policy would be revised, a move that sparked disagreement from within the swimming circles. While the revised policy requires that biological men prove they do not have a biological advantage by submitting testosterone levels below 5nmol/L 36 months in advance, Thomas will not be subjected to the new standards.
Rather, all athletes who formerly competed under the 2010 bylines will be grandfathered in and eligible to compete.
According to the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Women's Championship Psych Sheet, Thomas will be competing in the 100-, 200-, and 500-yard freestyle. He is currently seeded first in two of the events.
Thomas will dive into the 200- and 500-yard events as the top seed with the best ranked times in the nation, clocking 1:41.93 and 4:34.06, respectively. He is seeded 10th in the 100-yard race 0.67 seconds behind the top seed.
Compared to the 2021 NCAA Division 1 men's championship, Thomas' times would still be subpar. The slowest docked time for the men's 200-yard freestyle preliminary race recorded a 1:39.97, nearly two seconds slower than Thomas' seed time.
Additionally, the last-place men's 500-free time recorded in the 2021 preliminary race was 4:27.88, nearly six seconds ahead of Thomas' best time.
Campus Reform contacted Georgia Tech, TPUSA, and Walsh for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.