Trans Maryland to hold a "Queer Dance Party" event in protest of United Against Racism Education's event discussing "Transgenderism" at That's Amore Grill Rockville. Credit: Akira Kyles

A local group opposed to the teaching of critical race theory in schools is holding an event discussing “transgenderism” Wednesday evening at a Rockville restaurant, leading an organization supporting trans people to organize a dance party outside in protest.

United Against Racism Education, a group that opposes the teaching of critical race theory in Montgomery County public schools, is presenting “True Stories About Transgenderism,” an event featuring three speakers who will discuss how “transgenderism,” a term used by UARE, can happen to “your loved ones,” according to a flyer for the event.

The event will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at That’s Amore Grill at 15201 Shady Grove Road. The scheduled speakers are Nicole Ekenrode, a mother of nine; Lisa Ruth, an entrepreneur and working mother; and Brandon Showalter, a journalist for the Christian Post based in Washington, D.C. Ekenrode is expected to discuss how her oldest son was “brainwashed” into gender ideology, Ruth’s topic is the “transgender crisis” in Maryland public high schools and Showalter is expected to talk about how “transgenderism” is producing obscene profits for those pushing it, according to the flyer.

Dee Reuben, a local UARE leader, could not be reached for comment about the event. When Bethesda Beat called the restaurant Wednesday afternoon, no one was available to speak about the event.

To protest the event, Trans Maryland, described on its website as a “community power building organization dedicated to Maryland’s trans community,” is staging a queer dance party outside the restaurant at 6 p.m., according to Lee Blinder, the organization’s founder and executive director.

“Unfortunately, anti-trans biases are rooted in fear and that fear can turn into hatred of trans people,” said Blinder, who grew up in Montgomery County and uses they/them pronouns. “So, we really wanted to uplift the trans community and have something joyful.”


Blinder expects more than 50 people to attend the dance party.

The timing of both events also falls on International Pronoun Day, according to Blinder. International Pronoun Day aims to make respecting, sharing and educating about personal pronouns commonplace, according to the International Pronouns Day website. The day is held annually on the third Wednesday of October.

Blinder, who attended Montgomery County public schools, said the area is no stranger, especially in recent years, to the anti-trans mindset.


Rhetoric such as terms like “transgenderism” used in the UARE flyer hold negative connotations within the transgender community, Blinder said.

“It’s an older term. It’s usually associated with medical care and it’s trying to motivate their supporter base to really protest the fact that trans people exist. That really seems to be the core of this event,” Blinder said. “So, you can protest us, but we will absolutely still be in your communities, in your schools, attending your schools and teaching … we are just regular people that go to school every day and go to work and continue to exist.”