Some 2,000 people turned out for the “Rally to End Child Mutilation” held in downtown Nashville Friday as a host of conservative speakers vowed to make gender transition for children illegal.
The mainly conservative crowd gathered at the War Memorial Plaza near the state capital in support of stopping surgery and chemical castration of minors.
A group of protesters favoring transgender “rights” for children tried to shout down the speakers by chanting, screaming profanities, and using sirens.
Protestors with megaphones yell at supporters of Matt Walsh and The Daily Wire’s “Rally to End Child Mutilation” Oct. 21, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)
Matt Walsh, a conservative commentator for The Daily Wire, was greeted like a rockstar as he took the stage to give the keynote speech.
He called the group of protestors cowards because they didn’t want anyone to hear the truth about the “cult of gender ideology.” Walsh said attempting to shut down those speaking up for children wouldn’t work.
“We’re still here,” he shouted. “We are fighting for truth.”
He said that if parents don’t take a stand, America’s children will be subjected to hormones and genital mutilation.
“We’re not going to rest until every child is protected from this madness,” he added.
Walsh said the woke culture preys upon children and tries to cover their actions with lies, adding that this battle is one of “good versus evil.”
Matt Walsh speaks at War Memorial Plaza during the “Rally to End Child Mutilation” Oct. 21, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)
Walsh first drew attention to a doctor at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville touting the profitability of transgender procedures for minors with gender dysphoria.
The expose caused an uproar among conservatives nationwide.
On Oct. 7, Vanderbilt announced it would temporarily pause gender surgeries on patients under 18 after Tenn. Republican Gov. Bill Lee called for an investigation into the clinic.
Walsh’s appearance was followed by 11 speakers, including detransitioners and GOP lawmakers. Detransitioners are people who came to regret going on the irreversible path of chemically and surgically altering their bodies.
Tennessee House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) and state Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) said they planned to introduce legislation to ban gender surgeries on minor children.
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said she would work to stop the practice on the federal level. Blackburn said she asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to launch an investigation into the long-term effects of hormone replacement therapy.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Capitol Hill in Washington, on April 4, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images).
“We are going to carry this movement. We are going to take it to every state in the country,” she said.
Scott Newgent, a woman who transitioned to appear like a man, told the crowd that gender surgery for children has nothing to do with human rights but everything to do with money.
Newgent said surgery could not change people from one sex to another.
“The truth is I’m a woman and will never be a man,” Newgent said.
Photo provided by Scott Newgent, man who told his story in “What is a Woman” movie by Matt Walsh in 2022 (Photo Courtesy of Scott Newgent)
Newgent said the medical establishment was putting children on puberty blockers and “butchering” them for money. Once they start transitioning, they become patients for life, he added.
He said that the transgender industry is expected to hit $5 billion by the end of the decade.
California “detransitioner” Chloe Cole captivated the audience with her cautionary tale. Cole said she loved being a girl until she got older and began associating more with boys.
By the time she was 11, she was bombarded by transgender content on the internet and began transitioning at 13, she said.
She remembers her parents taking her to a therapist for help. Instead, the therapist told her parents if they didn’t go along with her desire to become a boy, she was in danger of suicide. It effectively silenced the people who cared most about her.
“These doctors and therapists were just butchers and liars,” she said.
Chloe Cole, center, poses with supporters after Matt Walsh’s rally Oct. 21, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)
Christians and patriots carrying flags were on one side, while protesters with brightly colored hair and signs gathered on the opposite side.
Most people stood quietly, waiting for the speakers.
Luke Teague, 19, came from Dallas because he’s a fan of Walsh and wanted to support him. He said something needed to be done to protect children from transitioning.
A 34-year-old “nonbinary” man who declined to give his name said he grew up in Nashville and remembers feeling alienated growing up with gender dysphoria. So he decided to come out to support children who may feel alone.
Protesters at a Matt Walsh’s “Rally to End Child Mutilation” hold signs for transgender rights Oct. 21, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times)
Amy Dickinson Campbell of Bruceton, Tenn., sees things from both sides. She is against children transitioning and has told teens to wait and see how they feel when they are adults.
On the other hand, her 21-year-old daughter is “nonbinary” and wants to be called they or them. Campbell said worse things could happen and loves her daughter regardless.
“I’m 51. I couldn’t imagine being a kid in today’s society,” she said.