"3 year olds can't choose gender"
"You're a bad person"
"So you disagree with me?"
"What u are saying is right but that makes u bad"
— Owen Benjamin (@OwenBenjamin) September 25, 2017
The University of Connecticut Student Union Board of Governors (SUBOG) has cancelled comedian Owen Benjamin’s appearance at UConn, scheduled for Oct. 25 after his comments concerning transgender children. The event was officially cancelled on Sept. 27.
On Sept. 25, Benjamin tweeted his opinions on transgender children being put on hormone replacement therapy. On Sept. 26, UConn called for the cancellation of Benjamin’s event in an e-mail as Benjamin’s “remarks became increasingly negative in sentiment.”
The email from a purchasing agent for the event also stated that SUBOG did not believe that Benjamin would receive attendance due to Benjamin’s previous comments over social media.
“I’m in favor of trans rights. Am I in favor of preventing an 8-year-old from going through puberty because they want to wear a dress? Of course not. I am so against that,” Benjamin said, according to a Breitbart article.
After UConn cancelled the event, Benjamin tweeted on Oct. 10, “College students are fine, it’s the institutions and the false culture pumped out of LA that’s f****** them. The kids themselves are great.”
Benjamin has continued to post about his views on transgender hormone therapy on social media, calling the process “child abuse.”
UConn will stand by SUBOG’s decision, as the event is under their jurisdiction, said university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz in a statement.
Just lost 7500 dollars for my views on transgender children. pic.twitter.com/9p1bcXEGhT
— Owen Benjamin (@OwenBenjamin) September 27, 2017
“UConn respects Mr. Benjamin’s free speech rights, along with our student group’s right to determine who it wishes to host on campus. The contract’s cancellation clause is being honored and he will receive his appearance fee,” Reitz said.
Students have continued to support UConn’s decision to cancel comedian Benjamin’s show.
“I stand behind UConn’s decision. I wouldn’t want someone coming who openly violates the diversity and values of UConn and its students,” said ninth semester molecular and cell biology major Mara Kate Duterte.
Other have stated that Benjamin’s viewpoints challenge UConn’s stance as an inclusive institution.
“I support UConn’s decision to cancel the show. Benjamin’s ideals are rooted in blindness of privilege in both his male and white identities,” said sixth semester special education major, Marissa Morris. “UConn is an institution which I believe celebrates and supports all identities and cultures. UConn’s decision to cancel the show further proves that we do not stand with values founded in hatred and ostracizing others for who they are.”
Kristina Carretero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.