Riley Gaines Gets Called 'Bigot,' And Then Canceled By Penn State; Still Planning UW Visit

After Penn State University president call Riley Gaines a “bigot” and the university canceled her Tuesday event, the women’s rights activist is still expected at UW on Oct. 24.

Clair McFarland

October 10, 20233 min read

Riley gaines press conference 4 6 23

Riley Gaines leaves a turbulent wake at other universities as she draws closer to her date with Wyoming.  

The former college swimmer and now activist for women’s rights is slated to speak Oct. 24 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, a college whose most recent and widespread publicity has revolved around a campus sorority chapter’s induction of a transgender woman.   

Gaines’ mission and message center around keeping males out of women’s sports and spaces. Gaines has stated publicly that she keeps in touch with the sorority members who sued their sorority headquarters over the induction.  


The swimmer has been hurdling resistance at other universities for the past few weeks, which she posts about publicly to (formerly Twitter).  

Penn State canceled Gaines’ scheduled Oct. 10 speech, she announced to the platform Monday. She attached a video of Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi explaining that because the university is public, it can’t legally censor “bigots” based on their viewpoints.  

“No way President of Penn State makes a whole video explaining why public institutions are legally obligated to let ‘bigots’ apparently like me on campus then proceeds to CANCEL my speech tomorrow for real women’s day,” wrote Gaines.  

Gaines and others have sparked a social media movement to designate Oct. 10 as Real Women’s Day because the date, 10/10 in roman numerals matches a woman’s chromosomal pattern: XX.  

One commenter pushed back, saying the “cancellation” was actually a scheduling and space conflict.  

Gaines responded by posting documentation of her Sept. 25 event booking receipt, with its $2,775 price tag.  

Security Needs 

Gaines posted Oct. 4, saying the University of New Mexico stationed 45 police officers with her at her speaking event there, then hit her with a $10,000 security charge.  

She seemed surprised at the volume of security needed.  

“All for saying men are men and women are women,” wrote Gaines; “such a radical position to take. Onward!”  

Wyoming’s event is shaping up to be quieter.  

UW police generally tighten up security for guest speakers and intend the same for Gaines, UW spokesman Chad Baldwin has told Cowboy State Daily

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter