Transphobic activists are using Google Maps to identify and target trans healthcare services in the United States. The tool is allegedly a repurposed resource previously developed by a US trans campaigner to help the gender non-conforming community identify and access safe care.

The development marks another dangerous moment for trans healthcare providers in the country. In August the Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C. and the Boston Children’s Hospital were subjected to harassment for their services offering gender-affirming healthcare. Both hospitals were subject to threats of violence while trying to provide the best healthcare possible to all their trans patients.

The digital tool, named The Gender Mapping Project, has sparked concern that more healthcare facilities will be targeted next. The tool was uploaded to the project website by a member of the transphobic organisation Women’s Liberation Front. The map, which is publicly available through Google Maps, shares the locations of thousands of facilities around the world that provide services to the trans community. In a country scarred by the 1990’s and 2010’s waves of domestic terrorism and serial murders targeting abortion clinics, and the recent violence in Washington D.C. and Boston, it is easy to understand why the tool triggers anxiety within the American transgender community.

A tool to help trans people access affordable care, stolen

The sad irony is that the tool was originally developed by trans activist Erin Reed to help members of the community to access affordable care. According to the Daily Dot, Reed succeeded in getting the map removed by Google via a Digital Millennium Copyright Claim, but The Gender Mapping Project re-uploaded it.

According to The Gender Mapping Project’s website, the makers are dedicated to “abolishing the gender industry”. The site is littered with the usual anti-trans myths and shocking, conspiratorial language around gender-affirming healthcare.

Alejandra Caraballo, a Harvard Law Cyberlaw Clinic instructor, stated in a social media post that this project poses an “immediate risk to every place listed in this map” and argued that Google has failed to act in the interest of trans people’s safety.

Twitter had previously banned The Gender Mapping Project’s account. At the time of this article going to press, however, the project’s website and map were still available.

GenderGP will continue to provide gender-affirming healthcare treatment to all our patients.