The Transphobic "Free Speech Bus" Has Crashed And Burned

Metaphorically, at least.

The anti-trans "Free Speech Bus" has ended its American tour in failure.

Sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, CitizenGo, the International Organization for the Family, and other anti-LGBT groups, the orange shuttle went from city to city imparting a hateful message: "Boys are boys... and always will be. Girls are girls... and always will be. You can’t change sex. Respect all."

National Organization for Marriage

But the tour met so much resistance along the way, that the bus was perpetually off-schedule, and most of the scheduled rallies and press conferences had to be canceled.

Things got off to a rocky start in Madrid, when city leaders banned the bus.

In New York, its first U.S. stop, the bus was not only greeted by protesters but had its windshield broken and was tagged with pro-trans graffiti.

After a few days for repairs the bus headed to New England, but activists in New Haven were ready: They covered a U-haul in trans equality signs and held a rally. The "Free Speech Bus" never made it.

In Boston, it was again met with protests and vandalized, this time with someone spray-painting "#HateSpeech." Mayor Marty Walsh spoke out against the bus's presence in the city, and raised the transgender flag at City Hall.

Next was Philadelphia, where counter-protesters organized a "Pop-Up Love Party" outside City Hall on April 1, the day the bus was supposed to arrive. Community advocates addressed peaceful gatherers and the transgender flag was once again raised.

The orange bus pulled into view just as the speakers were wrapping up, but it was blocked by demonstrators chanting "Trans lives matter." Eggs were thrown and smoke bombs were set off. Once the street was cleared by police, the bus's driver promptly fled the city.

A scheduled stop in Baltimore was canceled outright. Then, after a final appearance in Washington, D.C. on April 5, it was announced that the "Free Speech Bus" tour had officially ended.

Despite these setbacks, organizers still managed to get more than 44,000 signatures on a petition that reads, in part, "It is a biological reality that 'Boys are boys... and always will be,' and 'Girls are girls... and always will be.'"

They're also still raising funds for the campaign. So while it's gone from the roads for now, we could see another tour soon. Stay ready.

h/t: Its Going Down

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