It’s Bigger than Texas- Exposing the Gender Industry in America-
The Attempted Sabotage of PEC’s Texas Event by Enemies of Free Speech
Despite both early and last-minute attempts to shut down our first ever event, It’s Bigger than Texas: Exposing the Gender Industry in America on April 20, 2023, it was an undeniable success! With expert panelists from across the globe and a beautiful and welcoming final venue, we were not deterred from offering our many guests the chance to come with curiosity and leave with courage.
Over the past months, several venues in Austin became suddenly unavailable to groups who had reserved them because these groups dared to question the prevailing narrative over ethical treatment for trans-identified youth.
After many months of planning, International Partners for Ethical Care (PEC) had initially contacted the Austin Public Library in September 2022 to reserve the large ground floor space in the library for our event.
We worked with Josh Wilkerson at the Library, who was initially cordial and informed us the space would be available for the panel discussion. However, once we sent Josh our email address to confirm the date, his tone changed and he claimed that, in his words, our group posed a security risk to the Library, so we would be relegated to a small space upstairs that would not accommodate a large group.
This Public Library held a Drag Queen Story Hour last year, which actually WAS controversial and drew some protests from parents and others aiming to protecting children from entertainment that is sexual in nature. Why is the speech of men mocking women protected, but that of a nonprofit organization that merely discusses medical treatment for children and young adults is not? Trans Activists often claim that “LGBTQ+” groups are marginalized and oppressed, yet activists for these groups are powerful enough to shut down the free exchange of ideas at almost any venue in Austin.
PEC appealed the Library’s cancel-culture decision to its Director Roosevelt Weeks, but never received a response to our letter. We were disappointed that our chosen venue had refused to accommodate our large group and would not explain why a gathering of medical professionals and parents would cause a security risk, but we were able to find a new venue after a few weeks.
For security reasons, although it felt a bit like overkill, we kept the new location of our event secret from anyone outside our board for 5 months, until very late on the Monday night before our Thursday event. Those who purchased a ticket for the event and the speakers were then emailed the location with a few days to plan accordingly.
Shockingly, the next afternoon, we received an email from the manager at Vuka with whom we’d been working for five months, informing us that Vuka was cancelling our long-anticipated event with just 2 days advance warning.
The email stated:
“I am emailing you today that we will be canceling your event at Vuka North Loop this coming Thursday 4/20/23. It has been brought to our attention that the event you are hosting on Thursday does not align with Vuka's beliefs. I will be refunding the amount that has been paid to the card we have on file and your contract will be voided.”
The email did not offer PEC any information about the source of any opposition to our event, nor an opportunity to clarify any misconception about the conference. Further, there was nothing in the contract PEC signed with Vuka that allowed Vuka to cancel for any reason, other than a force majeure situation such as dangerous weather or other “act of God.” There was certainly no stipulation that Vuka could cancel due to the whims of third parties who may have objected to our conference, or its management’s perceived beliefs or judgements.
We can only assume that someone who disagrees with our mission had purchased tickets to our event to cause disruption, and that this person then contacted Vuka and gave them false or misleading information about our organization and our event.
Our small organization of volunteers, all with full-time “day jobs,” was already overwhelmed with last-minute preparations for our first-ever professional engagement, with speakers from around the U.S., Israel and the UK, and with guests from as far away as Canada. Now we had to scramble to find an alternate site for our discussion about ethical care for children, which was apparently a much more controversial topic than we had thought.
We were extremely fortunate that Brandon Showalter, a journalist and a speaker at our event, was able to reach out to Andrew Brown of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Although Andrew had not known of PEC previously, he and his colleagues were deeply disturbed by Vuka’s attempt to stifle the free speech of any legitimate organization. They quickly arranged for our speakers’ panel to be held at their beautiful building near the Texas Capitol, saving a conference of critical importance that took many thousands of dollars and months of woman-hours to plan.
Our wonderful caterer and the audio-visual company, whom we’d contracted through our planning with Vuka, were professionals, had no intention of breaching their contracts, and followed us to our gorgeous new venue.
In conjunction with our event, the documentary Identity Crisis, produced by Kelsey Bolar of the Independent Women’s Forum, was scheduled to be shown on Wednesday, April 19th at a venue that similarly cancelled the screening, citing threats from those advocating for “trans rights.” In addition, two more documentaries were scheduled to be shown at Flix Brewhouse on Friday night of April 21st – the first was the Detransition Diaries by Jennifer Lahl, founder of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, and the second was Affirmation Generation by California producer Vera Lindner. Once again, the same day that PEC’s conference was cancelled, Flix Brewhouse also cancelled the screenings due to numerous threats to the theatre patrons should the screenings proceed.
PEC’s skeleton crew spent a hectic 48 hours not only trying to secure venues for our speakers’ panel but also for the documentary productions that many of our guests hoped to attend.
The Republican Women of Leander offered a space for the viewing of Identity Crisis and its post-screening panel, which was attended by many Austin area locals as well as guests of PEC’s event.
Later, Representative Steve Toth (R-District 15), a champion of protecting children from the gender industry in Texas, secured an auditorium at the Texas Capitol for the screening of the documentaries produced by Jennifer Lahl and Vera Lindner. The venue required a legislator to stay with our group for the 5 hours necessary to view the two documentaries and the Q&A session afterward. While this was a selfless act on the part of Rep. Toth, it was not surprising to us since he has proven his commitment to stopping the disfigurement and sterilization of kids for several years.
Most of us living in a democracy have never seen an instance where a business claims the ability to breach a contract due to personal beliefs, unless such a clause were written into the contract terms. We have seen some businesses, like the cake baker in Colorado, who decline to sign contracts in the first place with another party where fulfilling the contract would violate their religious beliefs. However, there is no justification for refusal to carry out the terms of a contract that was duly executed and paid, simply because one contracting party either changed his/her mind or bowed to the will of activists who disagree with the other contracting party.
What does this stay about the business reputation of Vuka or other venues that feel free to breach contracts based on the whims of third parties? One can easily see the business world devolving into uncertainty and chaos if everyone can breach a valid contract simply by citing personal “beliefs” or the outside influence of a mob.
What does it say about our society, and especially about the Austin Public Library and Vuka, which did not even claim to have received threats, that the idea of protecting children is so radical as to cause the Library to refuse to contract with our group, and Vuka to breach a valid contract?
Further, what does it say about the tenacity of PEC, the commitment of our catering and audio-visual contractors, and the character of those who provided alternate venues and accommodations?
Partners for Ethical Care wants to recognize the amazing generosity of Andrew Brown of TPPF, and of Rep. Steve Toth and many others who jumped in to help at the last minute. Because of all of you, our first conference was not only rescued from sabotage, but was a resounding success according to the many guests who attended.
Transition Justice Updates
Last year, we started a project called Transition Justice, an effort to connect those harmed by “gender medicine” with legal professionals who may be able to help them seek justice. This year, with the social media saavy of our intern Cat Cattinson, we have launched a marketing campaign to raise awareness about this project, and it is taking off. We are proud to say that of the 12 cases of which we know in the US on this issue, Transition Justice has had a part in 9 of them.
Many of you have asked how to donate to the Transition Justice project, so we set up a fund designated to be used to support these legal cases, specifically for expert witness fees. We appreciate anything you can give to support these survivors of the gender industry. You can read more and donate on the website transitionjustice.org.
We Make Connections!
Our mission is to raise awareness and support efforts to stop the unethical treatment of children by schools, hospitals, and mental and medical healthcare providers under the duplicitous banner of gender identity affirmation. We believe that no child is born in the wrong body. Connect with us.
Partners for Ethical Care is a secular, non-partisan, all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit organization comprised of individuals from across the globe. We come from across the political spectrum and put differences aside to work toward a common mission. We are funded by individual donors, and we are humbled by their generosity.
Join Us in Our Legislative Efforts
We are well into what looks to be a record year of legislation on this issue in 2023, and we will continue our efforts in the coming year. Your donations have supported necessary expenses for our volunteers and detransitioners to testify in states across the US. You can be part of this necessary push back against the gender industry through sharing your own testimony and skills. We are all about making connections, so please reach out to us to find out how to become involved in legislative efforts in your area–we need your expertise. Tracking 50 states and countries across the world and fifty U.S. states is not easy, but it's necessary work to make lasting change to keep children safe.
Please consider making a donation, so we can continue to testify and support testimony in favor of bills to ensure ethical care for children - by schools, as well asnd mental and medical healthcare professionals. We will not stop supporting efforts of those harms by “gender medicine” to seek justice in the courts for those harmed by “gender medicine.”
We hope you will join us!
Thank you to our Supporters
We are a small group of volunteers, and while we donate our time to our mission, we have real expenses that cost real money. On the news or social media, you might have read about or seen one of our volunteers or a detransitioner speaking at a legislative hearing for a bill to protect children from the gender industry. Many times, PEC is supporting those efforts by paying for travel, lodging, and food. (Now you know!) If you value the work that we do, please consider supporting it with a one-time or recurring monthly donation.
International Partners for Ethical Care is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization (EIN 85-3752787), and your donation may be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.