California Public Library Ejects a Female Athlete for “Misgendering”

Sophia Lorey

Former college soccer player Sophia Lorey took the podium at a public library in Davis, California, to share her personal story as part of a forum on “fair and safe” sports for young women. It only took about one minute before the librarian cut her off.

After a lifetime of competing in sports, Lorey is more than qualified to speak on the issue. She is also the outreach coordinator for the California Family Council and host of the podcast This is a Woman.

“My intention was to highlight the current policies affecting our young athletes and underscore the importance of providing them with a level playing field,” Lorey explained. “I drew from my own experiences as a former college athlete to illuminate the challenges girls now face today.”

Specifically, Lorey wanted to share her perspective on the controversial issue of trans women (male-born athletes) competing in women’s sports. Her statement was simple:

“Current 10-year-old girls cannot live out the same dream [I had] as long as men are allowed to compete in women’s sports. So now, no matter how hard girls work—”

A progressive activist cut Lorey off, and she politely reminded him there would be time for his questions and comments at the end of the meeting.

Lorey calmly resumed her prepared remarks, using the terms “biological girls” and “biological men” for clarity. This time it was the librarian who immediately cut her off, and accused her of “misgendering people” and violating the library’s code of conduct.

After multiple interruptions from the librarian and trans activists, some of whom brought signs and flags, Lorey again reminded the room there would be time for questions later.

Instead of calming down the room, the librarian stopped the speech, told her to leave, and shut down the entire forum.

“I directly said ‘why am I being asked to leave?’” Lorey wrote in a social media post. “[H]e told me ‘because you are misgendering, you were talking about men in women’s sports.’”

Ironically, it was Lorey who reminded attendees about the library’s code of conduct before the meeting started. She encouraged everyone to respect each other, hear each other out, and not to interrupt others while speaking.

“I just want to remind everyone that the library code of behavior is listed up on the wall here in this room, and one of [its rules] is ‘speak and act in a manner that doesn’t disturb others during meetings like this.’”

Unfortunately, progressive librarians at the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library don’t follow their own rules. “You’re being disruptive,” the librarian told Lorey before he kicked her out.

“I was a speaker!” she replied, incredulously.

The incident was a shock to Lorey, but strengthened her resolve to continue advocating on behalf of female-born athletes and encouraging free and open dialogue.

“As a speaker for the ‘Fair and Safe Sports for Girls’ event held at a public venue, I felt that I should be able to share my personal experiences and opinions without fear of being silenced,” she wrote on the California Family Council blog. “It deeply concerns me that a statement on biological differences can lead to such abrupt action. No one should face retribution for stating a biological fact. … It’s essential for all of us to remember the importance of free speech, open dialogues, and respect for all viewpoints. Our society can only progress when we are willing to listen and engage constructively, even when we disagree.”

Take Action

Contact the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library and remind them that libraries are supposed to be defenders of free speech, not censors!

(530) 666-8005 

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