Milo Yiannopoulos ‘Pray the Gay Away’ Event vs. ‘Love is Louder’ Event
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Milo Yiannopoulos’ ‘Pray the Gay Away’ event, presented by Uncensored America, occurred Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the Thomas Building at Penn State University.
Uncensored America is a newly founded (2020) non-for-profit organization “dedicated to fighting for freedom of speech” (Uncensored America). Milo was its first guest-speaker.
Yiannopoulos is a British political commentator, public speaker, and writer. He has written nine books, most recent including “Dangerous,” “How to Be Straight,” and “How to Be Poor.”
For this event in particular, he spoke out against the LGBTQIA+ community. Yiannopoulos is an ex-gay man and he talked about his experience, including free speech, faith, conversion therapy, hair style and more. He answered questions that people had in a Q&A session.
The event was strict to get into. Tickets varied in price and VIP’s had priority access. Many could go for free, but they had to arrive early.
There are two opinions about Yiannopoulos: those who support him and those who do not support him.
Those who support Yiannopoulos went to his event and protested outside of the Thomas Building. Yiannopoulos’ supporters were holding signs written with phrases like, “Let Milo Speak,” “We Won’t Be Silenced,” and “Let’s Be Civil.” They were chanting and gathering at the crossroads of Shortlidge and Pollock Road.
“We are here solely to allow Milo to speak. We want to support his First-Amendment right,” an anonymous person said.
When asked if it is possible to pray the gay away, they responded “anything is possible through (Jesus) Christ.”
On the other side of the road, stood people against Yiannopoulos and his beliefs. People were chanting things back at the Yiannopoulos supporters and holding signs as well. The signs said “Love is Louder,” “Pray the Milo Away,” and “Hate has no home at PSU.”
In retaliation to the event, Penn State’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity held an event at the HUB-Robeson Center called ‘Love is Louder.’ It was put together by the Gender Equity Center, Paul Robeson Cultural Center, Spiritual & Ethical Center and CAPS Services. There was food, music and activities.
“I think everyone has the right to free speech, but this is pure hate. I don’t know how Penn State allowed this to happen on their campus,” an anonymous person said. “Everyone deserves to feel free and proud of who they are. Love is truly louder than hate.”
Anti-Yiannopoulos people pushed back against the university and there has been no statement made from Penn State nor its president, Eric Barron.
The protests, the ‘Pray the Gay Away’ event and the ‘Love is Louder’ event were heavily secured by police officers and no violence occurred.
Yiannopoulos is currently travelling to universities across the country to speak and answer questions about his beliefs and lifestyle.
For more information about Uncensored America and Yiannopoulos, visit https://uncensoredamerica.us/milopsu/.
Emily McGlynn is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.