Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk’s ‘Live Free Tour’ comes to TCU



Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk speaks to the audience at the “Exposing Critical Racism Theory” tour held at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center, Oct. 5, 2021, in Mankato, Minn. It was the second stop of an eight-stop tour, visiting universities across America. (AP Photo/Jackson Forderer)

By Lillie Davidson, PolitiFrog Editor

Pop music played Monday night as hundreds of attendees filed into the Brown-Lupton University Union ballroom.

They posed for photos in front of the stage or perused merchandise stands offering free stickers, books, and posters bearing conservative slogans while awaiting remarks from Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative non-profit, Turning Point USA.

Seats reserved for TPUSA executives comprised a large section of the event’s audience. (Photo: Lillie Davidson)

But first, Turning Point USA contributor JoBob Taeleifi warmed up the crowd with a “death defying stunt,” guessing the gender of a female volunteer.

“Not all that long ago, I think a lot of you would’ve been thoroughly unimpressed,” Taeleifi said. “Who am I? This guy came onstage and guessed the most obvious thing known to mankind since the dawn of time.”

This drew thunderous applause from the audience and set the tone for the evening. Kirk spent 40 minutes on environmental issues, the transgender community, religion and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event at TCU was part of a nationwide tour of college campuses. Kirk and other organizers have said they are open to debate those who disagree with their positions.  Earlier this week, Kirk’s tour was met with protests at Ohio State University. Around 60 students protested outside of the event, holding a banner that said “Ohio State Won’t Stand for Hate,” according to “The Lantern,” Ohio State University’s campus newspaper.

Chloe Appel, president of TCU’s Turning Point chapter, said the visit was meant to stimulate debate.

“If anyone disagrees with him, they can come up and ask him the questions they want to ask,” Appel said.

While some of the stops have been met with protestors, there were none at TCU. The faculty senate sent out an email Monday morning denouncing hate speech and discrimination, and reminding the student body of the faculty’s support for students from all walks of life.

Kirk took the stage to raucous applause and cheering.

“I’m going to make this, out of all of our campus stops and tours, the one where I actually defend Christianity the most,” Kirk said, citing TCU’s history of affiliation with the Christian denomination Disciples of Christ. He then spoke on what he called the “rise of fake religions” in America.

“Be careful what happens when you say God is dead,” he said. “Be careful what replaces it.”

The crowd cheered when Kirk spoke about people who are transgender. Kirk compared “woman-face,” or transgender women, to blackface.

“These trans-athletes at this moment; these are men wearing woman-face and masquerading as women,” he said. “Trying to appropriate womanhood because they couldn’t compete against men and they’re cheaters.”

Copies of the United States Constitution are arranged on a merchandise table outside the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom. (Photo: Lillie Davidson)

During the question-and-answer session, students, especially those who disagreed with Kirk, were offered a pass to the front of the line. Roughly 20 students took the opportunity. Their questions ranged from religious advice to criticisms of Kirk’s views on the environment.

Appel said she was largely satisfied with the event.

“We had a large support from TCU and the community, and I think we’re all really happy with the outcome we had here tonight,” she said. “I loved what [Kirk] had to say. I think that’s what makes humans wonderful, that we all don’t agree on everything.”