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Boston Children’s Hospital targeted by violent anti-LGBTQ threats

‘We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms’



(Screenshot/YouTube WBZ)

Anti-LGBTQ far right extremists are targeting Boston Children’s Hospital, threatening its employees and medical staff after falsehoods and disinformation spread online recently about the healthcare facility’s treatment of transgender youth.

In a statement posted online, a spokesperson for Boston Children’s Hospital wrote: “In response to commentary last week critical of our Gender Multispeciality Service (GeMS) Program, Boston Children’s Hospital has been the target of a large volume of hostile internet activity, phone calls and harassing emails including threats of violence on our clinicians and staff fueled by misinformation and a lack of understanding and respect for our transgender community.”

The statement notes that the false information, with special attention being cast on the lies that Boston Children’s Hospital was performing hysterectomies (transgender care related) on minors. The age of consent for that gender-affirming procedure is 18.

“We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, and we reject the false narratives upon which they are based,” the hospital continued. “We are working with law enforcement to protect our clinicians, staff, patients, families and the broader Boston Children’s Hospital community and hold the offenders accountable. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to protect our people.”

Journalist Martha Bebinger with WBUR,  Boston’s NPR news station, noted the campaign started last week with criticism of a video posted on the hospital’s website about hysterectomies. Several conservative social media accounts shared posts about the video on Twitter. The hospital performs hysterectomies on patients 18 and older, but not on children as some of the posts claimed.

The social media account Libs of TikTok, which has often promoted “groomer” discourse that falsely linked LGBTQ teachers and parents to pedophilia, began to make a variety of false claims. One allegation included the lie about Boston Children’s Hospital offering gender-affirming hysterectomies to children under 18 years old.

Surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital have said they would consider performing other procedures, including phalloplasty, or penis construction, on 17-year-old male trans patients. But hospital staff say that hasn’t happened because no 17-year-old has met the required legal and other criteria.

Conservative journalist and anti-LGBTQ+ activist Christopher Rufo, who has helped incite white Christian nationalist right-wing uproar over the critical race theory being taught in the nations’ secondary schools and also fabricated a story that queer theory was also being taught to kindergarteners up through high school, took aim at Boston Children’s Hospital in a tweet Wednesday.

Then adding to the far-right extremist pile-on, Media Matters for America reported Wednesday that anti-trans pundit Matt Walsh also attacked the hospital.

Christina Buttons, a Nashville-based radical anti-LGBTQ far-right journalist for the Canadian anti-LGBTQ conservative publication, the Post Millennial, which features other transphobic writers, attacked NBC News reporter Brandy Zadrozny on Twitter over her reporting on Boston Children’s Hospital.

A spokesperson for Twitter told the Washington Blade Wednesday afternoon that the company support team was looking into the reports of harassment.

Zadrozny reported: Anti-trans activists also targeted the individual doctors who appeared in the YouTube videos from Boston Children’s Hospital, leaving vulgar and harassing comments on their social media accounts and flooding their online pages with negative reviews. Some hospital staff have since made their social media profiles private.

This isn’t the first time that far-right activists have targeted doctors and medical institutions — or even Boston Children’s Hospital.

Lee Leveille, co-director of Health Liberation Now, a trans rights advocacy group that investigates the effects of policy on trans health, said the hospital was also a target in May 2021 for providing gender-affirming care amid a similar wave of targeted harassment on medical facilities.

“The original organized network that jump started the clinic protests has been slowing down a bit and is more decentralized,” Leveille said over email. “Local pockets will still operate here and there, but they’re less connected to a central organized push than the original ones. Now we’re seeing new faces rallying the cause — including the likes of Matt Walsh and Libs of TikTok.”

A spokesperson for the Boston Police Department said the department is aware of the threats and is working with hospital staff.

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Maura Healey clinches nomination in Massachusetts as lesbian candidate for governor

Candidate set to become first out lesbian elected governor



Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey at the 2022 Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Maura Healey, the Democratic contender to become the next governor of Massachusetts, secured on Saturday her party’s nomination for the general election in November, setting herself up to become the first out lesbian to be elected governor in the United States.

Healey, who previously made history as the first out lesbian and LGBTQ person elected as state attorney general, announced on Monday she had secured 71 percent of the vote from party delegates at the Democratic State Convention in Worcester.

In her speech accepting the nomination, Healey made lowering the high cost of living, expanding job training and making Massachusetts a global leader on clean energy central components of her campaign.

“I will be a governor who sees everyone, listens to everyone, and hears everyone,” Healey said. “A governor who fights to make sure people share in our progress and no one is left behind. A governor as tough as the state she serves…Because in Massachusetts, we don’t follow. We lead. We don’t wait. We act. And we never back down when people are counting on us.”

Local media in Massachusetts have declared Healy the victor in all but name five months ahead of the general election in November. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who’s a Republican, is popular but has declined to run for re-election. Even though the GOP is expected to achieve serious wins in November, no serious Republican is in the field who could compete against Healy.

Healy could end up sharing the distinction of being one of the first out lesbians to be elected governor in the United States. Also in contention is Tina Kotek, a former speaker of the Oregon House, who’s also a lesbian and could achieve the same distinction.

The two would follow a long list of firsts made by openly gay and lesbian officials in recent years after the advancement of LGBTQ rights and visibility, such as the confirmation of Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary.

A full 10 years ago in 2012, Tammy Baldwin became the first out lesbian elected to the Senate, and Gov. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man elected governor in 2018. Oregon already had an LGBTQ person serving as governor; the current governor, Kate Brown, is bisexual.

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