WATCH: 16 year old trans boy removed from Ted Cruz rally following peaceful protest
James Van Kuilenburg says he was forced to leave a Ted Cruz campaign rally based solely on his identity.
A teenager says he was forcibly removed from a Ted Cruz rally, simply because he is trans.
James Van Kuilenburg said he had attended the rally last Thursday “to represent the LGBT youth that are hurt by [Cruz’s] propaganda and rhetoric.”
Such rhetoric includes Senator Cruz claiming transgender people are a threat to his daughters.
Van Kuilenburg claims he attended the rally to draw attention to Cruz’s outlandish claims and “to show Cruz supporters that rhetoric about gay and transgender rights hurts real people like him.”
However, as he and his mother attempted to take their seats in the audience, he says they were “forcibly” removed by campaign staff.
The staffers told the Van Kuilenburgs that they were being removed because they were with peaceful protestors outside before the event, but the teenager claims he “wasn’t there to protest him.
“I wanted the mostly Republican people in the audience to see who I am, and know I am not a predator, or dangerous, or a freak,” he told Jezebel.
“Before he even came on stage, I was forcibly removed without a reason by a security guy and a local cop.
“They refused to give me a reason and told me that the campaign didn’t want me present.
Van Kuilenburg goes on to say he was “denied the right to hear a presidential candidate speak based solely on my identity.
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“When I tried to tell the volunteers from the campaign and the local Republican party, they laughed at me,” he added.
“By throwing me out before I had a chance to even hear Cruz’s opinions, they are sending a very clear message to trans and LGBT teens that we are not welcome, and that we are second class citizens.”
Watch Van Kuilenburg explain what happened below:
Senator Cruz doubled down on his anti-trans policies over the weekend, by cracking jokes about Donald Trump after his main rival came out in favour of trans rights.