Hundreds of purple clad community members rallied around gender creative youth at a Minnesota Family Council event at Nova Classical Academy in St. Paul Tuesday evening.

The Family Council, the state’s largest group opposing LGBT equity, gave a presentation in the school gymnasium titled, “Title IX and Gender Identity,” which laid out the group’s case why the public charter school should not create a welcoming environment for transgender and gender creative students. Nova had considered steps to make the school more welcoming for a gender creative kindergarten student, but a handful of conservative parents protested and asked religious right groups to get involved. That involvement included the Family Council’s Tuesday night presentation (The group rented the school’s gymnasium and the school did not have any involvement in the event).

The Family Council forbade any audio or visual recording of the presentation, but The Column was able to obtain an audio recording from the event:

Part one:

Part two:

Gender inclusion supporters responded to the event with a silent protest and show of support for the family of the kindergarten student.

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Hundreds of supporters showed up wearing purple and lined the entrance to the gymnasium to demonstrate that support to the presentation attendees.

The parents of the student tearfully addressed the crowd at the end of the event thanking them for the outpouring of support.

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  1. It is unfortunate that we as a culture have to jump to conclusions that just because a girl wears pants or plays with trucks it must mean that s/he identifies as a boy… or likes girls, etc.
    Or if a boy wears a dress and plays with Barbie’s that s/he identifies as a girl or likes boys, etc.

    Why do we have to perpetuate this misinformation with our children, that outward expression is an indication of our gender. This seems very narrow-minded to assume that if I am biologically a man, but identify myself as a female, that I must obviously do female activities…

    I guess, why does it matter what someone identifies themselves as… can’t we just focus on teaching and reminding our children how important it is to treat all people with respect and compassion? By treating each other with kindness, we are showing justice to everyone around us. As a parent of a Nova student let’s remind ourselves of the Virtues we are teaching our children.

  2. The only person who can speak about a student’s identity is the student. It’s wrong to force a specific gender expression on a student when they don’t want it. Unfortunately we live in a gendered environment. Many of our names are gender-specific, we use gendered pronouns, we have gendered clothing, hair styles, accessories, and many adults assume certain activities are gender specific. We are influenced to choose those gendered things not just by rules, but also by social control. A student who doesnt meet gender expectations is likely to be bullied by peers unless adults intervene. This student’s family is asking the school to take action to prevent bullying of their child. That seems reasonable to me. I am not a parent of a student at Nova, but many of us are watching what is happening there and are hoping everyone stays safe and respectful.

  3. […] What twittery is this? Last week, a group of parents at a charter school in St. Paul, Minnesota, held a meeting to protest a gender-non-conforming child at the school. The Family Council helped them to organize the meeting. A TWIT Award goes to the protesters and the Family Council. However, it seems that there were many people wearing purple at the meeting, who held a silent protest over the protesters. These counter-protesters held signs in support of the child. You can read and hear about it in The Column. […]


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