Content Warning: This article contains mentions of violence.
Children’s hospitals in the United States have become targets of anti-trans attacks, and the threat of far-right domestic terrorism, for providing healthcare services to trans people.
Several children’s hospitals have been recently attacked or harassed due to their services including gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth. Anti-trans activists on social media, in particular the Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok, have been accused of spreading false information, claiming that hospitals that provide gender-affirming medical care to young trans people are ‘mutilating’ them.
In Washington D.C., the Children’s National Hospital was subjected to harassment by the owner of the Libs of Tik Tok account. It appeared as though a worker at the children’s hospital was implying that they provide hysterectomies to minors. The interaction was reportedly recorded by Chaya Raichik, the account’s apparent owner.
However, the hospital put out a statement confirming that the person in the recording does not deliver any care to patients and that as a hospital they do not offer hysterectomies or any other related surgeries to children under the age of 18. Their care for trans children and teenagers ‘always involves families making decisions in coordination with a team of highly trained pediatric specialists’.
This falsified audio recording only serves to alarm anti-trans conservatives and politicians further, feeding into the narrative that it is seemingly inhumane to allow trans children the opportunity to fully be themselves.
No healthcare service is offering invasive surgeries to young children. For that to form the main argument as to why trans youth should not receive gender-affirming healthcare is misguided. The focus should rather be on how clinics and hospitals can provide more inclusive and adequate care to help improve the lives of trans children everywhere.
Since the recording was posted on social media, the Children’s Hospital has been receiving serious threats of violence and bombings.
The Boston Children’s Hospital had previously also reported receiving threats after Libs of Tik Tok had posted a similar video about their services offering healthcare to trans people. The hospital confirmed that they do not perform genital surgeries to trans patients under the age of 18. The Boston Children’s Hospital told Teen Vogue that they have been receiving ‘a large volume of hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails including threats of violence’ toward staff members ever since.
This year alone, there have been twenty five bills introduced in the United States which aim to limit trans youth’s access to medical care. It is therefore vital to maintain the safety of children’s hospitals that offer life-saving services to their trans patients.