TOPEKA (KSNT) – Conservative speaker and author Michael Knowles spoke at Washburn University on Thursday night.

Knowles was introduced to the gathered crowd by Claudia Fury, Chairman of the Washburn College Republicans who set up the event.

“One reason this event is so important to me, as well as many other students sitting in the audience tonight, is because we believe in the freedom of speech and we will fight for the ability to voice our opinion on every college campus and we refuse to be silenced by the administration or fellow students who disagree with us,” Fury said.

Knowles began his speech by acknowledging the ‘Trans Visibility Day’ event which occurred just an hour prior to when Knowles was scheduled to take the stage in the Memorial Union. He also claimed that Washburn President Jerry Farley signed the contract to invite Knowles on campus only to later condemn him for “hate and misinformation.”

“Sort of a strange way for a university president to treat a guest that he personally invited,” Knowles said. “You sign a contract, you say ‘thank you’, he wants you to come this day and then a couple of weeks later you libel and defame that speaker before he says anything at all as some sort of menace to society.”

Farley’s letter can be seen here:

“A Washburn student organization has invited a speaker to campus who has a history of inciting fear and distrust. While I am strongly in the support of first amendment rights, I am disappointed when those rights are used to make others feel unwelcome and even unsafe in our community.  While we support the right to speak freely, Washburn University does not condone the hate and misinformation spread by the speaker and his supporters.

Thursday also happens to be International Trans Visibility Day. Washburn University supports the Trans community and students who identify as LBGTQ+. We support and stand in solidarity with Trans people around the world and encourage you to learn more about the issues affecting students, faculty and staff who identify as LGBTQ+. We will continue to engage our resources to influence campus community to be an inclusive place where all feel they are protected, affirmed and valued.

“I encourage you to celebrate the day with messages of compassion and support. With your help this university can be a shining light and example to the greater community. We will learn together and from each other and we will be better people for the effort.

Knowles then began speaking about the “destructive ideology” of transgenderism.

“I hope we will learn, or relearn, basic facts about reality and human nature,” Knowles said. “If that is too much for President Farley, I hope at least we will learn that Conservatives will not be kowtowed into silence and submission to the ridiculous ideological fantasies of the radical left, that we most certainly will learn.”

Knowles cited examples of people who had later regretted transitioning between genders. But he went on to say that the primary issue with transitioning is not regret.

“The central problem is not regret but reality,” Knowles said. “Transgenderism is simply not true. It is a false account of human nature which holds that one’s true self has nothing to do with reality.”

The speech then moved to a judgement on academics as Knowles declared them to be the only ones to believe “heresies.” He also spoke to a recent statement given by Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearings where she was asked to define what a woman is.

“Senator Blackburn said, ‘What is a woman? Can you define what a woman is?’ and Ketanji… Judge Jackson, a federal judge, laughed,” Knowles said. “She said, ‘Of course I can’t, I’m not a biologist, I can’t tell you what a woman is.’ Ketanji Jackson has two degrees from Harvard, only someone with two degrees from Harvard could be so stupid as to not know what a woman is.”

He then spoke about women’s sports, which he declared that “nobody cares” about and said that it was the only way that people could criticize transgenderism in a socially acceptable way.

“The problem with transgenderism is not that it complicates college swim meets,” Knowles said. “The problem is that it is a false account of human nature that encourages delusion and psychosis and self-mutilation. That’s our issue folks, we just don’t want to say it.”

Knowles continued by encouraging members of the crowd to oppose transgenderism today by refusing to “tolerate it” in society. The speech then moved to a question and answer session. Members of the crowd were invited to ask a single question at a time.

To watch the speech on YouTube, go here.