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WDI USA Statement on the APS’s Postponement of Panel on “Gender and Identities”
September 25, 2023
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The post below originally appeared on the website of the US chapter of Women’s Declaration International and can be found here.
There’s no other way to say it: proponents of “gender identity” are complete and total cowards. They know that public opinion is with us and that if the general public could hear our message, the entire gender house of cards would come tumbling down.
Several months ago, WDI USA president Kara Dansky was contacted by the producers of American Public Square (APS), which “uses civil discourse to bridge the partisan divide” and “engages in fact-based conversations about local, regional and national issues.” They invited her to participate in a public panel discussion on “gender and identities” in Kansas City. The panel was to be presented in cooperation with a local PBS affiliate and scheduled to take place on September 26. We were excited for the opportunity to advance the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights in a mainstream forum.
The APS team spent a lot of time and money preparing for the event. Kara had several phone calls with the executive producer. The team arranged and paid for airfare and hotel accommodations for all the non-local panelists. The team prepared a long and detailed fact sheet about the issues to be discussed, including several Kansas and Missouri laws that protect the sex-based rights of women and girls and prohibit hormonal and surgical harms to children. WDI USA vice president Megan Rose took the time to review the fact sheet carefully and suggest ways it might be supplemented. In our view, the fact sheet was very one-sided in support of “gender identity” proponents, even though we knew that APS team members wanted to hear arguments in support of women and girls.
In addition to Kara, the initial panelists were to be:
Alex Pearson, an attorney at Kansas Missouri Queer Law;
Jamie Reed, a former Washington University “gender clinic” worker who blew the whistle on the transing of kids;
Monica Harris, a member of the board of advisors at the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, who has written about her concerns for the rights of women, including lesbians (and is herself a lesbian); and
Democratic Kansas State Representative Heather Meyer.
For reasons unknown, Representative Meyer backed out in early September, and the producers replaced her with Justice Horn, Chair of the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission and an alum of the GLAAD Media Institute program.
The team scheduled a panel prep call for Wednesday, September 20. Kara attended in order to introduce herself, but she wasn’t able to stay for the entire call. The rest of the panelists and the producers all attended. Everything appeared to be proceeding smoothly.
By Thursday September 21, however, we were told that the event was being postponed.
APS says in its statement about this development,
We have never been faced with canceling an APS program—until now. The September 26 program, “Exploring Gender & Identities” hosted by APS, Kansas City PBS and the Johnson County Library will not take place as scheduled.
Upon the cancellation of two panelists invited to represent the transgender community, we are now unable to present the community with a conversation we feel effectively represents the diverse perspectives of this issue.
The two panelists being referred to were Horn and Pearson, both of whom were supposed to be there to “represent the transgender community.”
To be clear, we do not think this is an instance of a venue canceling under pressure from “trans” activists. We have no way of knowing whether Horn and/or Pearson did in fact pressure APS to remove one or more of the rest of the panelists, but even if they did, APS was fully prepared to go forward with the conversation.
The reason this happened was because Horn and Pearson canceled at the last minute, forcing APS to make a difficult decision. APS strives to present balanced conversations, and they did not think they could do so under the circumstances.
In other words, this event was canceled because two “trans” activists refused to discuss the matter with those who are perceived as “TERFs”.
Why did they do this? We think they were simply scared to go up against a woman who blew the whistle on “child gender affirmation” (Reed also has a partner who she calls a trans man); a Black lesbian who knows that men can’t be lesbians; and a radical feminist TERF.
This is Horn’s announcement about backing out of the event:
Rather than have an adult conversation with other adults about “gender identity,” he caved to the demands of a teenager—or used one, cynically, as a human shield to cover his own cowardice.
Horn also lists himself as an Advisory Board Member to APS on his LinkedIn account, suggesting that he blew off his own colleagues and squandered their time and money in order to avoid having a rational conversation with women who stand for the sex-based rights of women and girls.
Jamie Reed’s response was to thank APS publicly and call out Horn for backing out at the last minute.
Horn responded by calling women bigots.
We interpret Horn as basically saying “I’m happy I helped sink a thoughtful and civil debate about gender identity,” or, even more specifically, “I knew that if the public could hear from rational people who question my regressive, authoritarian, sexist, and homophobic movement, my side would lose, so I got scared and backed out.”
Political scientist Leor Sapir had a good take on the situation – that Horn likely has political aspirations and worried that simply having a civil conversation about “gender identity” would make him vulnerable.
Those who push for the enshrinement of the “gender identity” lie in the law simply cannot handle any discussion about the matter with women who fight to protect the sex-based rights of women and girls. That’s because they know they’re wrong—and because they know that if we can be heard, we will win.
P.S. Horn quickly blocked me on Twitter. What a coward.