A former collegiate swimmer-turned-anti-trans activist will visit San Francisco State University this week, invited by the campus chapter of a national conservative group. 

For an event dubbed “Saving Women’s Sports,” conservative activist group Turning Point USA will host Riley Gaines on Thursday evening, to the outcry of queer and trans students on campus. 

Since tying for fifth place with a transgender swimmer named Lia Thomas in 2022, Gaines has become an activist in right-wing circles, visiting college campuses to crusade against trans athletes for having a perceived advantage in sports. 

San Francisco State’s Queer and Trans Resource Center decided against a protest, determining it would play into Turning Point’s strategy to incite conflict, said director Chloe Simson, a grad student who is nonbinary and trans. Instead, the center will host a sports mixer to uplift local queer and trans sports teams, also on Thursday evening. The group has called for the event’s cancellation and condemnation from university administration, to no avail. 

University officials sent a message to employees and students on Monday afternoon noting that it must uphold freedom of expression as a public institution and that Turning Point is a recognized student organization. They encouraged students and staff to “engage in critical and intellectual dialogue.”

“As well, we encourage you to not engage, to look the other way, not to get baited into a debate or argument, to not to take personally any event that happens on campus that you agree with or disagree with,” the email read. 

Full story at SF Standard.